Oysters and Bill-E’s Bacon
For the spicy aioli:
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 tablespoon tepid water
Pinch kosher salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper
In a food processor with a knife blade, combine the egg yolks, garlic, shallots, lime juice, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Pulse to process. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until all has been used. Aioli mixture should be creamy thick. Adjust sauce consistency with water until smooth like thick mayonnaise. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
For the bacon:
6 slices Bill-E’s small batch bacon, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Preheat a large, heavy skillet or griddle to medium high. Place the bacon slices flat, leaving 1/2-inch or more between slices. Use a tin-foil-wrapped brick as a weight to flatten and speed up browning of the bacon. Cook and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side, and then place onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Slice the bacon into 1-inch lengths.
For the oysters:
1 stalk green onions
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup corn flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pints freshly shucked Gulf coast oysters
3 cups peanut or vegetable oil
Cut the green onions into long matchsticks and soak in ice water for 2 hours, or until they curl.
Mix together cornmeal, corn flour, salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Strain the oysters and reserve liquor in a sealed container in the freezer for future use. Coat the oysters in the cornmeal mixture a few at a time, keeping them separated. Hold them on a platter in a single layer. Sprinkle a few pinches of the cornmeal mixture over top of the coated oysters. Repeat with remaining oysters. Just before frying, tap off any excess cornmeal mixture.
For frying: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy skillet. Allow 1 inch of shallow frying oil for the pan, and place over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. The oil is ready for frying if you add a pinch of corn flour and it sizzles and the oil is shimmering. Add half the coated oysters a few at a time, and fry 2 or 3 minutes (depending on their size), or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, lift the fried oysters from the oil and place them onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat for second batch. Continue until you use up all the oysters.
To assemble: Place bacon slices onto a platter with enough space between them so that they do not touch. Top each bacon slice with a fried oyster, and then a dab of spicy aioli. Garnish with a green onion curl on top. Serve right away.