Of the many -- Many! -- delicious things I've tossed on the grill over the years, I'll confess that oysters never made it onto my menu.
It simply never occurred to me that my experience of this simple raw bar treat could be elevated by the application of a few flames. That is, until I attended an oyster event earlier this spring at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach. At this rooftop oyster outing, numerous chefs offered up grilled oysters fresh off the flames.
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One variation topped the oyster with a thick slab of chorizo and manchego cheese. Amazing. But my favorite was from Hung Huynh, the chef at Catch Miami and winner of the third season of Bravo's "Top Chef."
He topped the oysters with a sauce that was deeply savory and had just a bit of heat from jalapeños. I decided I had to make them for myself, and that these oysters would make a fantastic starter for a cookout kicking off summer.
• J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs atLunchBoxBlues.com. Follow him on Twitter @JM--Hirsch