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It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to post something interesting, thought provoking, and/or intriguing for you all to read; not that at all. I realized that sometimes I just cannot bring myself to sit in front of my PC for much longer than a quick email check, a quick headline, or a quick browse of y’all’s blogs. You see, I sit in front of a PC everyday, and sometimes, the work gets to be just tiring enough that I don’t want to type anymore. It’s kinda like that commonplace story of working in an ice cream factory so long that you hate ice cream except that in my case it’s actually true. Who can ever hate ice cream?
Now that the weather here is finally equalizing with the actual season, I have been looking for inspiring dishes. Mostly this time of year, through the winter, I like to make comfort food type dishes; things that “stick to yer ribs.”
Well, if it isn’t already evident by my postings that I am a seafood lover, I’ll shout it out now. I guess that doesn’t really matter because I am truly a food lover and I don’t tend to discriminate…well not too much. I especially love the bivalves; scallops, clams, mussels, give them to me in excess!!!
Except…if I overindulge even a little bit, I get slammed with the “king’s disease", gout. And friends, that ain’t pretty. Nothing like being cursed over something you love.
Oyster stew is something that I have wanted to make for some time now and with the cooler weather I thought it was fitting. I am not much of a shucker. I mean I can and I have. I would rather not though. For those who like to shuck, shuck on. I’ll be over here.
An oyster purist would never put an oyster in a stew. As a matter of fact an oyster purist would never let the presious mollusk near anything hot except sauce. I used to be a purist until one day I had a fried oyster. Then came the extremely tasty oyster dressing. Well, let’s just say, my mind, she was opened.
This stew was my first crack at it. I will post a redux sometime in the future with my corrections and modifications. It turned out tasty but I made a few mistakes. First, I didn’t cook the celery long enough so it was crunchy, and second, I thinned out the liquid before adding the oysters, not knowing that they would bring some liquid to the party, so my stew turned out a bit more like soup.
The stew/soup didn’t lack flavor, in fact my wife really liked it, (she likes anything with cayenne) but I wanted some more depth. The kind I am used to getting with a good chowder.
In any case, here’s the recipe:
24, or so, large oysters, shucked, drained, reserve liquor
6 tbsp butter (3/4 stick)
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup shallot, minced
cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley finely chopped
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
S&P to taste
1. Melt butter on a large pot over medium heat.
2. Turn heat to medium high. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until you have a light roux.
3. Add celery and shallot, cook until celery is soft.
4. Add the milk, cream,a nd 1/2 cup of the reserved oyster liquor.
5. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes until thickened.
6. Add parsley, oysters, and bring to a simmer (NOT BOIL). Simmer until the oysters begin to curl, about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook the oysters or you’ll have rubber bullets.
7. Remove from heat. Serve garnished with some butter or a drizzle of olive oil along with some crusty bread.
Though I'm a seafood freak, I cannot count myself among the ranks of oyster lovers. However, if I were to enjoy them, it'd be in this stew!
krysta: no ice cream!!!!??? wtf?
sharon: no oysters? i think there may be those who love them and those who don't. i could eat them and any other mollusk forever!
I don't care for ice cream either. I'm not surprised about Krysta - she and I always say we're twins.
I have never eaten an oyster, as I told you. I will definitely make the effort at some point though. I wish you lived closer so I could let you do it for me.
p/s: Don, you know i love your pics but that 2nd shot of the oysters got me picturing something entirely different... something out of my old high school bio lab...
melissa: no ice cream!!!! what's wrong with you and krysta...oh...come to think of it, i haven't seen you to in the same room. weird. oh you have to have some oysters. try them on the half shell with Tabasco!
kavs: lol pass out the scalpels and get to work!
this should give you good reference on soups, stews, and chowders: http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blsoupgloss.htm
abby: i know that's right! one could get really, really sick.
I promise I'll try them sometime Don, just for you!
melissa: good deal! can't wait to hear.
lisa: i've never been too picky but i know people who are.
kim: never? you need to get some into that southern kitchen of yours.
heather: really? i love a good po'boy especially with fried oysters.
claudia: thanks. the flavor was excellent; even better then next day after a slow reheat.