For over 100 years, some of the best oyster fishermen in Louisiana have been of Croatian origin. Many Croatians came to Louisiana and have been at the forefront of the oyster business; it's gotten to the point where if someone's serving you oysters and their surname ends with "-vich", you know you're in good hands.

Drago Cvitanovich has had an excellent restasurant in Metairie for years, and it's one of my parents' very favorite places to eat. Drago is famous for his Charbroiled Oysters, and recently shared his recipe with a local newspaper. The recipe is simple -- there's almost nothing to it -- but the key to it is getting the prettiest, fattest oysters you can find. Louisiana oysters are, or course, preferable, but Pacific oysters will also do very well. Shuck 'em yourself, too.

Heat the grill over medium-high heat.

Melt the butter with the garlic and pepper in a large skillet. Mix the Parmagiano and Romano cheeses in a small bowl.

Spoon some of the melted butter mixture onto each oyster. Add a pinch of the combined cheeses to each oyster, add a pinch of parsley, then place on the grill. Grill the oysters until they are hot,bubbly and puffed, about 8 minutes.

YIELD: 8 servings.


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Chuck Taggart   (email chuck)