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Oysters - The Topic


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Marco Pierre White's Tagliatelle of Oysters with Caviar. Lightly poached oysters in the shell on top of a small nest of fresh tagliatelle, dressed with beurre blanch sauce, cucumber julienne and, of course, caviar. Very decadent... :biggrin:

I've done it a couple of times, sans real caviar.

http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/575730

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Thanks! I got interested in this whole oysters'n'eggs thing recently when Jaymes (I think) suggested scrambled eggs with smoked oysters. I wasn't too crazy about that because of the strong smoke flavor and the mealy texture of canned oysters, but I did like the oysteriness with eggs. I missed the Fried Oyster Cakes thread, but that's just what I'm after.

I've found that all cans of smoked oysters are not created equally. I've eaten quite a few smoked oysters in my time (my mom would buy them when we were little as one of those little side-type things to eat with rice and add a little flavor/salt) and some are mealier than others. I also like them despite the smoke flavor - I usually don't like that stuff.

That being said, I need to find a brand that's decent so I can make some of those tasty-sounding scrambled eggs!

What brand do you like? Or do you mean that they vary from one can to the next? I used Napoleon brand "tiny smoked oysters."

Edit--sorry, I'm blind this morning--missed the part where you say "I need to find a brand that's decent"!

Edited by Dianabanana (log)
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All oyster recipe welcome, but yes, you know exactly what I'm talkin' about, Jamie Lee! Would love to see your family's recipe....

I'm not Jamie Lee but I do make oyster stuffing every year. Here's how we do it. Take two pints of freshly shucked oysters, then drain one pint (save the liquid). Eat the drained oysters raw, with a bit of cocktail sauce, while you are mixing up the stuffing.

For the stuffing, saute 2 cups of finely diced onions and celery in a few tbs. of butter. S & P to taste.

Crumble a batch of cornbread (stale is better) in a large bowl and mix in the sauteed veg. Add seasonings if you want. I usually throw in a pinch of cayenne and some minced fresh parsley.

Separately, mix the reserved oyster liquid with one raw egg, then add the other pint of oysters and liquid.

Gently fold the oysters and liquid into the cornbread/veg mixture, place into a baking dish, and either bake in the oven (350F for 45 min) or steam for 45 min.

It's best to use large, strongly-flavored oysters for this dish.

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My family always has oyster stew at Christmas time. Not exactly sure why its called stew, but its basically fry oysters in butter until the edges start to curl, then add milk and cream with the oyster juice. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire/hotsauce and serve.

Always reminds me of Christmas Eve.

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My favorite way to eat oysters is to eat them raw, but there are a lot of other yummy preparations, too... many of which have been covered here.

One fond memory I have is from my childhood, when my father would buy (raw) oysters in huge glass jars, in barbecue sauce. I figure they came from our family friend who was a butcher (although I guess they were unlikely to have come from his shop.) We'd either grill them or fry them (for assembling po boys or just eating as-is.) We always took these on our weekend (or longer) trips to our lake house in Arkansas. I'll never forget my filet & fried oyster "celebration" dinner on the occasion of my 100th tarantula bite... *grin*

Another of my favorites is a dish I had in New Orleans at a restaurant (the name of which I can't for the life of me recall... hey, I was there for Mardi Gras, ok?) where we ate several times. They called it oyster "casserole," and I made a bet with my travelling buddy that I could go home and recreate it. I made a thick sauce with cream, oyster liquor, and white wine, kinda layered the oysters in with the sauce in a baking dish, topped the whole thing with corn flake crumbs tossed with lots of cayenne pepper (I swear that's what they used, too!) and baked it until it was bubbly. I won the bet, even though I had to use canned oysters since I was living in Memphis at the time, and never could find a reliable source for good fresh ones. I've made it better since with the addition of fresh shucked oysters, which I put into the "casserole" raw... they cook a lot more delicately, I guess you'd say, that way... so yummy. Kind of "expensive" in the calorie department, but hey... ;)

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Take two pints of freshly shucked oysters, then drain one pint (save the liquid). Eat the drained oysters raw, with a bit of cocktail sauce, while you are mixing up the stuffing.

Kbjesq, I love this step :biggrin: .

Domestic Goddess, I remember that shot of your po' boy on the "Dinner!" thread- it looked SO good!

I love the flavor combination themes that are coming up. I never thought about how well Asian flavors match with oysters. Sunny, I have never seen oysters packed in barbeque sauce, although it makes sense when you think about how smokiness seems to match so beautifully with oysters! Faine, I'm happy that the recipe you linked includes chipotles, because I'm always looking for new ways to use them. Also looks like Worcestershire sauce is another common affinity.

In general, I'm curious about how people fry their oysters (coating, fat type and temperature, etc.) David, I never thought about a buttermilk bath for oysters, but I'm definitely going to try it! The few times I've made fried chicken with buttermilk, I found that the natural sugars in the buttermilk sometimes made it hard for me to time the chicken cooking through before the crust got too dark. Shouldn't be a problem with oysters, though....

I have yet to try smoked oysters, but I might want to hear more about preferred brands before taking a shot. I can unfortunately imagine my gag reflex kicking in with a bad can.

Oysters are something that I only gained exposure to about 7 years ago. Interestingly, in an 8 AM college zoology lab. We were studying bivalves and our TA brought pre-shucked oysters for us to eat raw- on saltines with cocktail sauce.

They weren't the freshest little guys.... and it's not the best thing I've had to hit my stomach first thing in the morning :blink: I was commenting to one of my friends about the experience, and once he figured out that it was a taste (not texture) issue, he got me to a nice raw bar where I had my first taste of oyster heaven- a little Malpeque, on the half shell, with the slightest dash of garlic Tabasco and a squirt of lemon.

Since then, I've been a huge fan, but not too experienced with preparing them at home. With all the inspired comments, I don't think that will be the case for much longer! :wink:

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Sony - you and my Mom share the same name. :biggrin: My technique in frying the oysters (for the Po Boy) is to prepare in 3 seperate shallow bowls - beaten egg, spiced flour and cornmeal. Dredge the oyster in egg, then flour, then egg and then cornmeal. Drop in hot oil (I use corn oil) and fry until golden brown. The result is plump juicy oyster with crispy coating.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Sunny, I have never seen oysters packed in barbeque sauce,  although it makes sense when you think about how smokiness seems to match so beautifully with oysters!

Yup, they sure were yummy. :)

In general, I'm curious about how people fry their oysters (coating, fat type and temperature, etc.) David, I never thought about a buttermilk bath for oysters, but I'm definitely going to try it!

I do both oysters and fried chicken with buttermilk. For chicken, my grandmother taught me to turn the heat down & cover the skillet after browning on both sides, which I guess keeps the crust from getting too dark. You're right, though... it's a lot simpler process with oysters. I do flour + buttermilk + seasoned cornmeal for mine, and use corn oil. 375°F til they "look right."

This thread is making me hungry, which is saying something coming off a 3-day stomach virus!

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I don't know where she got it from, but my Mum sometimes does this for a special occasion:

bunch of oysters on the half shell

enough garlic/herb butter to go on all the oysters

enough puff pastry to cover each oyster shell

* put some flavoured butter on each oyster

* cover each shell with puff pastry like a little pie

* place under the grill/broiler/salamander (depending where you live - basically whatever you have that heats from above)

* cook for a few mins, just long enough to cook the pastry and gently warm the butter whilst leaving the actual oysters fairly cold (but they're still damn tasty if they get warm)

* serve immediately

Even my non-oyster-loving sister-in-law is mad for these :)

There Will Be Bloody Marys
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matt johnson said

My family always has oyster stew at Christmas time. Not exactly sure why its called stew, but its basically fry oysters in butter until the edges start to curl, then add milk and cream with the oyster juice. Season with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire/hotsauce and serve.

Always reminds me of Christmas Eve.

we always had oyster stew on Christmas Eve, too. My friend Carolyn, an Eastern Shore girl, makes hers really peppery with cayenne--it's wonderful.

Take two pints of freshly shucked oysters, then drain one pint (save the liquid). Eat the drained oysters raw, with a bit of cocktail sauce, while you are mixing up the stuffing.

this, frankly, should be the first paragraph of any oyster recipe.

Our family didn't have oysrer stuffing with the turkey--we had something I've never heard of anyone else making--oyster gravy--when it was time to make the gravy for the turkey, my Great Aunt Zoe (Big Zoe) would do the roux part, then when it was time to add the liquid she would add the oyster liquor, and the stock , finish the gravy and keep it hot, and then when everything was ready at the table would add a pint or two of small oysters (she'd cut them up if she could only get biggies) let them cook untill the edges were just barely beginning to curl, and rush the gravy to the table--heavenly!

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I recall a variation of poached oysters in broth (what kind?) with fennel, parsley and a little pernod. Maybe something else - saffron?

Also on the decadent side, Daniel's Bite Club recently served an oyster po'boy with sea urchin aiolli.

I used to serve hot fresh oysters that popped open after about five minutes on a grill. Lots of topping opportunities.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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I used to serve hot fresh oysters that popped open after about five minutes on a grill.  Lots of topping opportunities.

Mark Bittman did an episode on grilled oysters with various toppings (and other oyster recipes, as well) as part of his "The Best Recipes in the World" series. The episode is The Shell Game and the grilled oyster recipes are available in that link, plus a recipe for oysters poached in champagne that sounds lovely.

Regarding oysters, has anyone else encountered "Willapoint Fancy Extra Small Oysters"? I bought two cases and they were the biggest oysters that I have ever seen!!! They are easily the size of your palm. If these are "extra small," I'm terrified to know what the "extra large" look like (I'm picturing a shell the size of a Volkswagen). Regarding flavor, they were somewhat briny, but in a good way. It's weird to find an oyster that you need a knife and fork to handle.

The other oysters that we see around here are from Apalachicola, Florida and they are small and very mild.

I prefer to use the Willapoints in cooked dishes and eat the smaller ones raw.

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Regarding oysters, has anyone else encountered "Willapoint Fancy Extra Small Oysters"?  I bought two cases and they were the biggest oysters that I have ever seen!!!  They are easily the size of your palm.  If these are "extra small," I'm terrified to know what the "extra large" look like (I'm picturing a shell the size of a Volkswagen).  Regarding flavor, they were somewhat briny, but in a good way.  It's weird to find an oyster that you need a knife and fork to handle. 

You know, I asked someone at a regular grocery store once about the criteria for "sizing" oysters and he said that it's subjective. But it seemed like the container I got that time had oysters of extremely variable size, even though it was a 1/2 pint of "extra smalls".... and I remember having exactly the same thoughts as you! :laugh:

Does anyone know more about how oysters are "sized up"? I found this chart but don't know if it's this individual company's standard or the industry standard...Might the variety of oyster might come into play as well?

Oyster size chart

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Make reservations at Windsor Court http://www.windsorcourthotel.com/web/onor/onor_a2a_home.jsp .

Fly, drive, pedal, walk, whatever you have to do, get to New Orleans.

Walk to Bourbon Street, turn onto Iberville Street, Order Fried Oyster Po-Boy at Acme Oyster House http://www.acmeoyster.com/#events with Dixie beer.

After, have a few dozen oysters at the standup bar.

It doesn't get any better than this!-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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I used to serve hot fresh oysters that popped open after about five minutes on a grill.  Lots of topping opportunities.

Regarding oysters, has anyone else encountered "Willapoint Fancy Extra Small Oysters"? I bought two cases and they were the biggest oysters that I have ever seen!!! They are easily the size of your palm. If these are "extra small," I'm terrified to know what the "extra large" look like (I'm picturing a shell the size of a Volkswagen). Regarding flavor, they were somewhat briny, but in a good way. It's weird to find an oyster that you need a knife and fork to handle.

Thank you, kbjesq, I was hoping that someone would help identity this type of oyster (I asked about them at the beginning of the thread). They are a specialty at a local Chinese place I frequent -- four of them are enough for an entree. When I ask at the Chinese place what sort of Oysters they use, I just get funny looks for an answer.

I have never seen oysters this large in any Fish or Asian market. Do many different types of oyster grow to this size?

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I have never seen oysters this large in any Fish or Asian market. Do many different types of oyster grow to this size?

I'm hoping that someone with more credentials can answer this question. I'm just a dumb/ hungry consumer . . . .but still, why would anyone label these ginormous things "extra small" is truly a mystery!!

I'll likely buy some more this weekend, and will try to post a photo . . . .

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my favorite way to eat oysters?

drive down to our tiny gulf coast vacation house, pick up an entire cooler-ful from the market, stay up late drinking white wine, and sit in a circle on the porch, taking turns shucking and slurping! raw with a squeeze of lemon is best. (this is even better if you can watch fourth of july fireworks at the same time!)

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This is an interesting discussion. I love oysters.

If memory serves, I have only ever had them 3 ways: smoked and from a can, Rockefeller and raw. The latter is my hands down favorite, with a little bit of acid and salt, twitching on its way down.

I know that oyster stuffing is well-known and well-liked but I have often wondered if the oyster flavor gets lost in such a thing. Doesn't the "oysterness" become diminished?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Here's a few of my faves:

All time best is a South Carolina oyster roast. You need an open wood fire, cinder blocks, a piece of sheet metal, burlap bags (croaker sacks to the natives), a hose, a shovel and a piece of plywood on sawhorses. A few bushels of Bull's Bay oyster clusters. Put the sheet metal over the fire on the cinder blocks. Put oysters on the sheet metal. Cover with croaker sacks. Soak with hose, more if sacks start to burn. Remove when the outer oysters on the cluster start to open. Use shovel to spread on plywood. Serve with thin, hot cocktail sauce and wax paper sleeves of saltines. The cool thing is as you work through a big cluster, you get oysters cooked to all levels of doneness. The smallest outside ones can be almost smoked, they get closer to raw as you move into the center of the cluster. It is desirable, but not necessary, to consume copious amounts of your favorite adult beverage.

Another favorite is Chinese fried oysters. I stole this preparation from a defunct (and sorely missed) Chinese restaurant in Hampton, VA, called the Ming Gate. Place large fried oysters (I usually add some 5 spice powder or curry to the breading) on top of a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce. Dress with spicy Chinese sauce similar to what you'd make for steamed dumplings. I use soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown vinegar, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, diced chili pepper, cilantro and a little sesame oil. Make the sauce ahead of time and let it jell. Eat immediately when the oysters are hot, a great combination of flavors and textures.

Finally, I like to add diced bacon or pancetta and diced mushrooms to the onion and celery saute for my oyster dressing. I try to make the mixture a little wetter than for non oyster dressing, use all the oyster liquor.

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Thanks! I got interested in this whole oysters'n'eggs thing recently when Jaymes (I think) suggested scrambled eggs with smoked oysters. I wasn't too crazy about that because of the strong smoke flavor and the mealy texture of canned oysters, but I did like the oysteriness with eggs. I missed the Fried Oyster Cakes thread, but that's just what I'm after.

Sorry to hear you didn't like the smoked oysters with scrambled eggs. :sad:

It's true that tinned, smoked oysters don't have that wonderful delicious soft plump texture of fresh ones, and smoked oysters definitely do have a "strong smoke flavor," but that dish is one of my favorite quicky brunch dishes and late-night suppers.

Of course, it's no secret that not everybody is going to like every thing the same. I'm glad you gave it a go! That's all anyone can ask, right? :rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks! I got interested in this whole oysters'n'eggs thing recently when Jaymes (I think) suggested scrambled eggs with smoked oysters. I wasn't too crazy about that because of the strong smoke flavor and the mealy texture of canned oysters, but I did like the oysteriness with eggs. I missed the Fried Oyster Cakes thread, but that's just what I'm after.

Sorry to hear you didn't like the smoked oysters with scrambled eggs. :sad:

It's true that tinned, smoked oysters don't have that wonderful delicious soft plump texture of fresh ones, and smoked oysters definitely do have a "strong smoke flavor," but that dish is one of my favorite quicky brunch dishes and late-night suppers.

Of course, it's no secret that not everybody is going to like every thing the same. I'm glad you gave it a go! That's all anyone can ask, right? :rolleyes:

Oh, but I'm so glad you suggested it--I'd never had oysters with eggs before and now I'm excited to try other variations. Plus you're already at the top of my household's hit parade from the Caramel Popcorn. So thank you, Jaymes!

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  • 10 months later...

I have been fortunate enough to find a great spot to harvest my own oysters here on LI Sound. These are of the Blue Point type, I'm allowed one half bushel per day. I usually end up with 60 or so of a size perfect for eating on the half shell and another 50 larger ones, really too big to eat raw in one swallow.

oysterruler.jpg

We have perfected the cornmeal crusted, deep fried oyster, leftovers used in Po' Boys. I'd love to hear some recommendations for other cooked preparations. We've done the stuffed in the shell preparations (Oysters Rockefeller and the myriad of variations) and would like to try something different.

I've done the cream sauce over rice thing but does anyone know of a recipe that uses oysters with pasta or some other kind of noodle? What about baked in a casserole type dish? No recipe is too involved, I like a good challenge.

So tell me about an oyster dish you had in restaurant, read about or one that's an old favorite.

How hard are the little guys to smoke?

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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