It’s a summer tradition here in the Northwest. Portlanders and Seattle-ites flee the city and head for the beach as soon as the kids are out of school.
If you are a seafood lover, the Washington Peninsula with miles and miles of sandy beach and just-caught seafood should be on your radar.
Willapa Bay, famous for it’s oysters, borders one side of the long finger of land. Sweet Dungeness crab is pulled from the Pacific Ocean on the other. The Southwestern bottom of the peninsula melts right into the Columbia River where sturgeon and salmon are king.
Stay beachfront in Long Beach or Seaview or port side in Ilwaco. It doesn’t matter. But make a dinner reservation at Jimella’s Fish Market & Cafe. Long time “Ark” restaurant owner chefs Jimella Lucas and Nanci Main are back in business with their new cafe and may I tell you firsthand that the fresh seafood is not to be missed. Anything she does with an oyster like the succulent pan fried ones above at ethereal. Call 360-665-4847, located at 21712 Pacific Way, Klipsan Beach, Washington, reservations are a must.
If you are not able to go, get thee to a first rate seafood purveyor in Portland. Nanci and Jimella graciously share this recipe from their latest book with you. ( used with permission, ISBN:1-55868-595-2)
Oysters Italian, From “The Best of the Ark and More! ” By Nanci Main and Jimella Lucas
- 24 oysters,extra small grade
- 1/4 c. brandy
- 1/2 c. garlic butter
- 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
- parsley for garnish
- lemon wedges for garnish
Wash and shuck the fresh oysters. Clear both muscles, top and bottom, and return to shell.
Place oysters in the half-shell in a 1″ x 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Sprinkle each oyster with 1/2 t brandy and top with at least 1 t garlic butter and 1 t Parmesan.
In preheated 425 degree oven, bake until cheese melts and oysters are gently poached in garlic butter, about 6 to 8 minutes.Remove and place on serving dishes. Garnish with parsley, lemon wedges and serve immediately.