Grilled Apalachicola Oysters

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Oysters in Florida's Franklin County

Franklin County is best known for its world-renowned Apalachicola Bay Oysters. The bivalve is featured at several annual seafood events in the area, including the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off held each January, as well as the Florida Seafood Festival held each November. This delicacy, created by John Solomon and Donna Duncan, has won the Oyster Cook-off competition several years running.

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  • 1 (1-pound) package thin-cut bacon, halved crosswise
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Dash garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 pint Apalachicola oysters
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • Pinch cajun seasoning
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until cooked through but still pliable. Set aside, then roast jalapeño slices in bacon fat until tender and set aside.
  2. In a clean pan, heat olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Quickly sauté spinach until just warmed, then remove from pan and set aside. Add more olive oil if needed, then sauté oysters until barely heated, about 10 seconds. (Don’t fully cook the oysters at this point because you’ll be cooking them again.)
  3. Preheat a gas grill on low heat. Assemble the oysters: Wrap a slice of roasted jalapeño, one spinach leaf, and a half-slice of bacon around one oyster and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining oysters. Transfer wrapped oysters to grill and cook with lid closed until bacon is crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. While oysters are cooking, make the aioli: In a mixing bowl, combine lemon and lime juice with mayonnaise and cajun seasoning. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve warm oysters with a drizzle of aioli or use for dipping sauce.
  • Created by John Solomon and Donna Duncan

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