Grilled Oysters with Chipotle Glaze

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. of fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. tequila
1 tsp. minced cilantro
1 tsp. coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
24 farm-raised oysters on the half-shell, juices retained
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1-1/2 tsp. sauce
1 tsp. minced fresh lime zest
at least 2 cups rock salt for lining platter
canola-oil cooking spray


Whisk 2 tbsp. of lime juice with the olive oil, tequila, cilantro, 1/2 tsp. salt and the pepper in a bowl. Add the oysters and their juices, reserving the bottom shells. Chill the oysters for 30-45 minutes in the mixture, then drain, reserving about 1-1/2 cups of the marinade.

Meanwhile, soak the oyster shells in water for about 30 minutes. Drain them on a kitchen towel and pat dry. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to very hot (you should only be able to hold your hand 1-2″ above the grill for a couple of seconds).

In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, mayonnaise, chile and sauce, lime zest, remaining 2 tsp. lime juice, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt. Set the glaze aside.

Spread the rock salt over the bottom of a platter large enough to hold the oysters in a single layer. Arrange the oyster shells on a large baking pan and spray the insides lightly with cooking spray.

Position half of the shells on the grill (place between the bars so they wont roll over). Heat the shells for 30 seconds, then spoon 1 oyster into each of the shells with 1 Tbsp. of the marinade and cook (close lid on gas grill) until the juices are bubbling, about 2-3 minutes. Drizzle a teaspoon of the glaze onto each on of the oysters and cook 30 seconds longer. Using a pair of tongs, carefully transfer the oysters to a platter and nestle them into the salt. Grill the remaining oysters the same way and serve immediately.

Yields 8 servings.

Recipe from Sunset magazine, September 2006.