Organizing an oyster roast

In LENS today, we have a story full of tips for throwing your own backyard oyster roast. Before you start shucking, though, check out these recipes.

Pepper Vinegar


• 1 cup white vinegar

• 2 Thai, Serrano or bird’s eye chiles, fresh or dried


Use a funnel to pour the vinegar in a cruet. Add chiles and use a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon to submerge them, if necessary. Cap the cruet and place it in the refrigerator. The vinegar will be well infused in 24 hours and will keep for months in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cup.

Source: “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook,” by Matt and Ted Lee


Red Rice


• 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into small dice

• 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)

• 3 cloves garlic, crushed

• 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

• 2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

• 1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian tomatoes, drained

• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

• 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Fry bacon in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, until firm and barely crisp, about four minutes. Use a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a small bowl. Set aside. Saute onion and garlic in the bacon fat over medium heat until softened, about five minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for one to two minutes, until fragrant and slightly translucent. Add 2 cups broth and turn off heat.

Puree tomatoes in a food processor. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and pour puree into the skillet. Stir to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer vigorously until the rice is tender but soupy, about 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of broth at a time if the rice is not soupy.

Transfer skillet or Dutch oven to the oven and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve rice in a bowl. Garnish with reserved bacon.

Makes 5 cups.

Source: “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook,” by Matt and Ted Lee




• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, peanut oil or canola oil

• 1 smoked ham hock or smoked hog jowl or 1/4 pound slab bacon, diced

• 8 cups water

• 3 dried chile peppers or 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

• 1 tablespoon kosher salt

• 3 2/3 pounds collard greens (about 3 bunches, ribbed, washed and cut into 1-inch wide strips)


Pour oil into an 8-quart stockpot over medium-high heat and swirl it around so it covers the bottom. Score ham hock with a small sharp knife, and when the oil begins to shimmer, set it in the pot. Sear the hock all over as best you can and allow it to render some fat, about six minutes. (Since a hock’s shape is so oblique, it will become spottily browned, but that is fine.)

Pour water into the pot; it will hiss and pop for a few seconds. Add chiles and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, until the stock is deeply flavored with smoke and spiciness.

Add a few handfuls of collards to the pot. The greens will float to the surface, so stir them frequently, submerging them with the spoon, until they have turned a bright green, about three to five minutes, and become floppier and more compact, so you can add more handfuls. Continue adding collards, stirring and submerging them, until all the greens are in the pot. Turn heat to low and simmer gently for one hour. The greens will be very dark matte green and should be completely tender. If not tender, continue cooking.

Use a slotted spoon to serve greens and pass a cruet of pepper vinegar (recipe above.)

Makes six to eight servings.

Source: “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook,” by Matt and Ted Lee

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