Raw oysters can be a little intimidating to the uninitiated, but these baked oysters should please both the oyster amateur as well as the aficionados. Since these oysters are served cooked, you can skip the "shucking" and give the oysters a quick steam. Whether you plan on serving 6 or 60, you can have them open in minutes.
Directions for: Baked Oysters with Irish Cheddar and Bacon
medium sized oysters
g (4 ¼ oz) Irish cheddar
g (4 ¼ oz) bacon
cup coarse salt
1. Cut the bacon into small, thin slices and then fry until just starting to crisp up. Strain the fat and set aside.
2. Rinse the oysters, using a brush to remove any dirt or grit. Set the oysters in a strainer or steamer, cover, and steam over boiling water until they just start to open, about 3 - 5 minutes. Use a knife to carefully remove the top shell. Discard the top shell and keep the oysters in the bottom shell.
3. Line a baking tray with 1 ½ cups coarse salt to steady the oysters. Press the oysters down into the salt and then garnish each oyster with a small amount of bacon. Slice the cheese into 12 even slices and place 1 slice over each oyster. Set the oysters under the broiler on the second highest rack. Bake until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
4. To serve, place the oysters on a platter lined with 1 ½ cups coarse salt.