I'm not saying anything that hasn't been said before when I acknowledge the gross-out factor in regards to oysters. They're little bits of mollusk innards that live in a shell, filter-feeding through cilia and trapping plankton in their mucousy gills.
Some people eat them as-is, slurping them down with nary a chew, letting these gobs of goo slip down their throats like a Friday night gone wrong. Why would you eat something that you wouldn't want to chew? How do you possibly get any sort of flavor/food satisfaction out of it?
That's why I grill them. Once cooked, the 'ick issue' is resolved as the texture is vastly improved and it's now possible to give them a few chomps before they continue down the hatch. Of course, once they're grilled and popped open, you'll want to douse them with something to augment the weirdly gamey taste and I usually just grab melted butter, crushed garlic and hot sauce.
But if you want to get fancy? Mignonette is the regular go-to for those looking to showcase a classic dish: vinegar, chopped shallot, black pepper and parsley. It's nice, but I feel like the vinegar not only obscures the taste of the oyster meat, it also soaks in too much and renders it tough. The raw shallots are so pungent, they completely obliterate any taste buds you had left after guzzling the aforementioned vinegar.
The solution? Butter.
Saute the shallots a bit in some butter first - this will mellow out the shallots and create a 'glue' for the vinegar. It also improves the mouthfeel, as the mixture will coat the oyster meat instead of penetrating it.
Here's how I do it:
Slutty, Buttery Oysters Mignonette
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
A few grinds of pepper
Chopped flat-leaf parsley to taste
12 oysters, cleaned
Saute the shallots in the butter on medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat and add the vinegar and pepper. You'll want to leave the parsley until the last minute so the green doesn't turn wilty grey.
Get your grill ready on medium-high heat. Using gloves and a flat-head screwdriver, pop each oyster ever-so-slightly, cupped side down. Try not to lose any of the liquid before placing them on the grill. Put the cover down on the grill and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Remove carefully and pop the tops off. Spoon a bit of the mignonette mixture onto each and gorge yourself on them once cool enough to do so. The oysters, not you. You will never be cool enough to not look ridiculous when sucking on oysters, just let it go.
Serves 1. I guess you could share with one other person, but I wouldn't.