Thursday, November 1, 2012


My family and I love oysters.  I can’t say that about all of my extended family though.  My dad loved them and I was one of the few siblings that learned to love them too.  I am not sophisticated enough though to do the raw thing.  They have to be cooked.

Fresh oysters are supposed to be available in months ending with R.  It is the first of November and oysters are now readily available so they come to mind in meal planning.   Fresh oysters are however expensive (Fareway ad today showing them at $12.99 a lb.), so the question is do you want fresh or canned.  Because I use them mostly in oyster stew and oyster dressing, it really does not matter to me if it is canned.  Canned are less expensive so I usually pick canned for easy storage and the price. 

When I used to pack lunches for Josh, I used to toss in a can of smoked oysters on occasion as a treat.  He loves them and it gave him a protein treat for his lunch.  It was a simple way of saying I love you when he opened his lunch.  But my favorites are oyster stew and oyster dressing.  Here are my simple recipes.

Oyster Stew

1 pint fresh oysters in liquor or 2 cans of whole oysters
1 quart whole milk
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper
Oyster crackers

Pour oysters and their liquor into a soup pan.  Bring to a slow boil over medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the oysters begin to curl.  Salt and pepper and add butter and allow the butter to melt.  Pour in the milk.  Do not let the milk boil.  Just heat it until it is hot. 

Sever with oyster crackers.

It is so simple and good.  We have a family tradition of having oyster stew on Christmas Eve and I eat it all through the winter.  I grab a can from the pantry and in a few minutes have a warm soup for lunch with left overs for tomorrow.

Oyster Dressing 

This dressing is very similar to my sausage and sage dressing.  I’d like both on the table at Thanksgiving, but I always go for the oyster dressing for myself.

2 oz. butter
6 generous cups bread cubes, crusts removed
1 finely diced onion
4 oz. canned oysters or more if you like lots of oysters
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tbs. dried parsley
1 beaten egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread bread cubes on a flat baking sheet and toast for five minutes on each side.

Drain the canned oysters, rinse and pat oysters dry.  Chop oysters into ½” pieces.

In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add in diced onion and sauté until soft and translucent.

Add chicken stock and bay leaf to onions and continue to simmer for 10 minutes until broth has started reducing. Add chopped oysters to skillet during the last five minutes, stirring once to ensure even cooking.

Remove bay leaf from skillet. In large bowl, combine oyster broth mix to toasted bread crumbs. Stir dried parsley, salt and black pepper. Add in beaten egg and still well until thoroughly coated.

Pour into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the top begins to brown and become crisp.

I have the canned oysters on my weekly shopping list so I’ll pick them up tomorrow.  I think I’ll be having oyster stew for lunch one day next week. 

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

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