Fried Oyster Nachos

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These fancy, special-occasion nachos are more like hors d’oeuvres. Although they require a few components and some assembly, the end result makes the extra work more than worth it!


YIELD 4–6 servings
ZEST FACTOR
Medium
PREP TIME 30 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes

For the tartar sauce:
½ cup prepared tartar sauce
2 chipotles in adobo
½ lemon, juiced

For the oysters:
Vegetable oil for frying
2 dozen shucked oysters
1½ cups buttermilk
2 cups cornmeal
2 cups cornstarch
2½ teaspoons paprika
2½ teaspoons chipotle powder
salt and pepper to taste

For the nachos:
2 dozen tortilla chips
1 cup pico de gallo

1. Make the tartar sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and puree with an immersion blender. Set aside in the fridge.
2. Make the oysters: In a high-walled pot or deep fryer, preheat the oil to 375°F.
3. Place the oysters in a bowl and add the buttermilk. Soak them for 10–15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients on a shallow plate.
4. Dredge the oysters in the cornmeal mixture and fry in batches until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel–lined plate.
5. Assemble the nachos: Spread tartar sauce on each tortilla chip. Add the pico de gallo and top each with a fried oyster. Serve warm.

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