Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Old Fashioned Oyster Stew

     Oyster Stew!
     Oyster stew is a favorite at seafood restaurants from Maine to Florida.  Some chefs fancy up the recipe, but personal interpretations of old traditional recipes usually stray too far from what made the original recipe great.  The rule of thumb for making old fashioned oyster stew is "the simpler, the better!"  Let the fresh oysters, fresh milk and fresh cream do all the talking!  Nothing much of anything else is needed for making a great oyster stew.  
     Old Fashioned Oyster Stew:
     This recipe yields one portion.  
     Old fashioned Oyster Stew is cooked to order and it is never made ahead of time.  Oyster Stew only takes a few minutes to make and it is best when it is served as soon as it finishes.
     *Large fresh Blue Point Oysters, Virginia oysters or Apalachicola are best for this recipe.
     Step 1:  Shuck 4 or 5 large oysters and reserve the oyster liquor.  (The volume of the shucked oysters and oyster liquid should be about 1/2 cup.)
     Set the oysters and oyster liquor aside. 
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of bacon grease.
     Add a 1 teaspoon of minced onion.
     Gently sauté till the onions are clear in color.
     Step 3:  Add the oysters.
     Gently sauté the oysters till they are halfway cooked.
     Step 4:  Add the reserved oyster liquor.
     Add 1/2 cup of cream.
     Add 1 1/4 cups of whole milk.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt and white pepper.  
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Bring the liquid to a simmer.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer till the oysters are fully cooked and still very plump.  (Overcooked oysters will shrink and become tough!)
     Step 6:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Pour the oyster stew into a shallow soup bowl.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of paprika over the oyster stew.
     Serve with Oyster Crackers on the side.  
     The flavor of this simple oyster stew will bring back memories of summers at the beach and dining at old school East Coast seafood restaurants!

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