Friday, December 16, 2016

An Oyster Stew Tradition

This recipe has been a family favorite for years......

I'm posting this at the request of someone very special ~ and also for all those who've gathered around our table during the holidays who've enjoyed my (Mr. C's) famous Oyster Stew.

I "borrowed" this tradition way back when the boys were away from home at college, and whom often arrived very late at night when traveling home for the holidays.

I wanted to have something special for them, something warm and wonderful and delicate when they walked through the door, something that filled the house with a wonderful aroma of Mama's love -- comfort food at it's finest.

Thus was born the tradition of Oyster Stew -- both for Thanksgiving Eve and again at our seafood feast at Christmas time -- because it's just that good!  It's super-simple; it's fast; it's very elegant; and I owe it all to Mr. C.  (Long before we were together, I might add).  

So now it's our combined tradition.  I think that's pretty darn special.  And my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

So, Gina, here you go, darlin':

Ingredients for 4-6:

1/3 C butter
1 pint shelled oysters (I use 3-4 pints)
5 C milk
1 C heavy cream
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. paprika

Melt butter in saucepan and add drained oysters.  Cook 3 minutes over moderate heat, until edges of oysters curl.  Add remaining ingredients except paprika.  Let heat almost to boiling point.  Serve at once, topped w/a dash of paprika and a side of crusty bread -- and more butter.  Or oyster crackers, if you're my Mr. C.   

So says Betty Crocker.   I always like more oyster "meat" than just oyster flavor, so I use at least 3 pints.  But that and the celery salt are the only changes I make.  

You can top it with some scallions or parsley or red bell pepper if you're in the mood.   I'm never feelin' quite that fancy.  

Experience Tip #1:  Bigger is not better, in this case.  Medium sized oysters are perfect.  Smallish tend to get rubbery, and large ones are just too difficult to eat in a dish of broth.

Experience Tip #2:  Mr. C's improvement to Betty's recipe  is to add a dash of celery salt in the serving bowl, also.  Or if you're a Slap Ya' Mama fan thats good, too.

Experience Tip #3:  Sometimes I've used half & half instead of the milk & cream; however, sometimes this results in the broth "breaking", meaning it's too rich and starts to clot a bit.  Not the best presentation.  So you can play with the milk-to-cream ratio a little, if you want it richer -- but not too much.

Experience Tip #4:  This re-heats very nicely, and like most soups and stews, is even tastier the 2nd time around.  So I double and triple the pot.  That's just who I am.

Happy holidays to all of you.  I am on my way to the store to buy oysters.  All this chatter about Oyster Stew has made me hungry...........

1 comment:

  1. This sounds very good and the photos are such a help too.


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