Just a Bayside Girl, Living in a BBQ World

Many may not know my face and name, but I’m the fourth powerhouse behind Jim Quessenberry BBQ. My last name isn’t Quessenberry, nor do I have a round belly or fire-red hair. I don’t live in the Memphis-Jonesboro area and if you ask me the perfect way to smoke a brisket I’m going to have you call the brothers Q. But what I do have is an amazing friendship and now partnership with the Quessenberry Brothers and Jeff Marchetta that started over 5 years ago on the shores of the Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills, NC.

I have been a Shore Girl my entire life; seriously, I’m from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. An often forgotten peninsula on national and state maps that is usually only seen via the one main road to get to either Virginia Beach or North to Baltimore and Jersey. But if you step off the beaten path and down some backroads, you will find some of the most amazing small seaside towns left in the country as well as some of the best seafood in the world. I lived on the Shore for 18 years, and as most kids in small towns do, packed up and swore I’d never be back again. I graduated from college, got an amazing job and my own apartment in a thriving area with an amazing nightlife. I had everything, or so I thought.

What I bring is a new way of looking at sauces and rubs for cooking. I think out of the box and find interesting and unique ways to use sauces and rubs for seasoning seafood.

You’re probably thinking, what the what?! How can you do this? Here are some of my favorite down-home Shore Girl recipes that you can easily do no matter where you live!

Until my now husband rolled into town, swept me off my feet and I packed all my bags and moved back to the beach with him to be stationed in Nags Head, NC with the Coast Guard. Here I met Lee Quessenberry while working in the same marketing department at the beach and became best friends.

We talked hunting, rooting in the mud and of course cuisine. We swapped recipes, BBQ for seafood and found that we both had a passion for this and Lee asked that I start helping with Jim Quessenberry BBQ. This turned into a friendship with the rest of the team and a now full-blown partnership within our company.

Oysters Raw with Jim Quessenberry

Note: The consumption of raw seafood products is at your own risk. But, don’t be a pansy, give it a try!

Raw oysters have been a part of the seaside life since the early 1600’s with the founding of Jamestown. Captain John Smith (Yes, the Pocahontas guy) made his way around the Chesapeake Bay and visited many areas of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, including a small island now called Saxis Island which was founded in 1624. From this landing going forward, waterman have made their living off of oystering and crabbing in the area, including my family. These watermen worked long hours to dredge and catch these delicacies for others, while feeding their family part of their catch and what else they could grow in the harsh conditions. This created a cultural breeding ground for some of the finest seafood recipes around.

Oyster lovers have many opinions about what you should and shouldn’t use as a dipper/garnish while eating raw oysters; there are nearly as many opinions about the best oysters in the world (Spoiler Alert: Seaside Oysters from the Eastern Shore win every time). Here are some garnishes that we oyster fans find acceptable to have with oysters:

Horseradish
Melted Butter
Hot Sauce Beautiful

DO NOT USE CRACKERS AFTER HAVING AN OYSTER! Our noses will fly high at you!

Of course, in my humble opinion the best combination of dipping sauces for raw oysters includes Jim Quessenberry Hot Sauce Beautiful and melted butter. It gives the oyster the fire of horseradish without the grain of the condiment and a smooth finish thanks to the melted butter.

  • 1 Peck of Oysters (Feeds a couple of people)
  • Horseradish
  • Melt a couple of sticks of butter in a saucepan.
  • Crack open oysters with an oyster knife.
  • Apply butter, Hot Sauce Beautiful, and/or horseradish.
  • Throw your head back and toss the oyster in your mouth.

Oysters Rockefeller with Jim Q Hot Sauce Beautiful

This recipe will give you about 3 dozen beautifully seasoned Oysters Rockefeller. Add amounts as needed for larger batches and bushels.

If possible, choose smaller oyster meat shells so there is space for your added garnishes.

  • 3 Dozen Fresh Oysters (Bonus Points for Chincoteague Seaside Oysters)
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (Did I mention this won’t be a Paleo Recipe?)
  • 6 Tablespoons of Fresh Minced Spinach
  • 3 Tablespoons of Finely Chopped Onions
  • 5 Tablespoons of Breadcrumbs
  • *Jim Quessenberry Hot Sauce Beautiful to Taste
  • ½ Teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon of Rock Salt (Regular Salt Works as Well in a Pinch)
  • Grated Cheese to Desired Preference
  • Old Bay to Taste (DUMP IT ON THERE)
  • Lemon Wedges to Taste
  • Pry open them SOB’s and toss the back half of the shells.
  • Drain excess water from the oysters, leaving only a small amount under the meat.
  •  If you’re wondering what to do with shells, post-dinner they are great for filling in potholes (Shore Pro-Tip for my Mid-West Fans)
  • Melt your butter and add all products into your mix.
  • Slather mix over oysters and broil oysters approximately 5-10 minutes dependent on heat source. You are looking for the edges of the mixture to curl or bubble and they are ready.
  • Slap them on a plate, let cool for 5-10 minutes and get your saucy seaside delight on!

Steamed Shrimp & Crabs

I know you’re thinking….how on earth can you use Jim Q for shellfish? Really it is an easy concept. What is the main ingredient for steaming shrimp & crabs? Drumroll….OLD BAY!

Old Bay is an absolute must for any self-respecting seafood recipe. I will never tell you to not use this seasoning in replacement of anything because I’m certain my relatives that have passed will come down and strike me with lightning. So, use it! Mix Old Bay with Jim Quessenberry’s Rub Beautiful to make a spicy mix that will delight the tastebuds. Combine Vinegar, Beer, Water and your season mixed into the appropriate size pot and have yourself a low-country boil no matter where you are. Throw in some potatoes and corn and you have yourself a full meal!

As a seafood lover, I love to hear about other recipes! Send your seafood inspired-Jim Q recipes to us at [email protected]

  • 1 Bottle Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Gallon Vinegar
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 2 lbs shrimp
  • 1 dozen new potatoes
  • 5 gallon pot
  • Mix 1 gallon of water, 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 gallon of PBR, and a seasoning bag with a bottle of Old Bay and a bottle of Rub Beautiful into a slurry in a 5 gallon pot. Allow the slurry to come to near a boil.
  • Add shrimp, crab, corn, and potatoes to the slurry and stir as they boil. Boil until potatoes are almost soft.
  • Drain water and pour the food onto a giant picnic table covered in newspapers and dig in!
  • Serves a good sized family, a basketball team, or a 2 person sailing team (they work up a huge appetite.)
Lynn Black

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