The Ole Miss Rebels are ready to take on the Ragin’ Cajuns this Saturday night in their third meeting ever!  If this matchup goes as many expect it to, the Cajuns of The University of Louisiana, Lafayette will be heading home from Oxford on a three game losing streak against the Rebels!  Ole Miss hasn’t been able to revel in a winning season, but a win against the Cajuns would help break their own three-game losing streak and boost morale after a beating from the Auburn Tigers last Saturday.

Mississippi is known for great seafood from the Gulf.  Oysters are definitely on that list!  Since this is a night game, I thought it would be fun to poach whole oysters on the grill for dinner this weekend!  To get the best seafood, go to a seafood market that carries fresh (never frozen) live oysters.  Purchase about 6 to 8 oysters (approximately one pound) per person attending your tailgate.  Due to safety concerns, I recommend picking up oysters just before arriving at your tailgate.  Live oysters like cool, damp, areas where they are able to breathe.  So, put them in freezer bags that are left open, over ice, in a cooler.  Be sure they do not get submerged in water, and try to achieve a temperature of 34 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit inside the cooler.

Be prepared to grill the oysters within a couple hours of purchasing them.  Scrub them down with a vegetable scrubber and cool water, or under cold running water before cooking.  Discard any broken shells, or any oysters that don’t close tightly when touched. Then, in order to keep the juices inside, place them on the grill with the cup side down.  The coals should be very hot, but with no flames while the oysters are on the grill.  Let cook until the shells begin to crack open (about 6-8 minutes).  Remove from the grill with tongs, as the shells will be hot!

Gulf Grilled Oysters
I like my oysters with butter sauce and lemon juice.  To make the sauce, sauté as much pressed garlic as you like in overly-generous amounts of salted butter.  Take a cue from the Southern-loved Paula Deen, and use more butter than you think you should!  Remove from the heat, and add finely chopped parsley to taste.  Spoon the butter mixture over the oysters on the half-shell, add a splash of fresh lemon juice, and enjoy!

Gulf Grilled Oysters

Mississippi was the last state to repeal the Prohibition, in 1966!  Even today, half of the counties in Mississippi are still dry. Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the repeal of the prohibition during his presidential race, asking for the citizen’s ‘wet vote’.  After he won the Presidency, he celebrated with a dirty gin martini.  So, after an Ole Miss win, I think FDR’s martini is fitting to toast with — because of him we can!  Place two ounces gin, 1/3 ounce dry vermouth, a splash of olive brine, and ice in a shaker.  Shake and strain into a martini glass.  Add lemon juice to the rim, and drop in a green olive!  Enjoy a night of oysters and toast-worthy dirty martinis, but most importantly come back next week for another gameday of grub!

Martini With Oysters

List of ingredients & Cooking Items:

What to Pack for your Tailgate:

  • Tongs
  • Cooler with ice
  • Freezer bags

What you Should Have in Your Pantry:

  • Butter
  • Garlic

What you Need to Buy:

  • Live Oysters – 1 lb./person
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Lemons

From Your Stash:

  • Gin – 2 oz.
  • Vermouth – 1/3 oz.
  • Olive Brine