Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Full of iodine, phosphorus and trace elements, oysters are stimulants and have always been a symbol of femininity. It is said that at the time of the full moon, oysters secrete an aphrodisiac hormone!
So fellas, when you are taking your honey out to share a peck of Oysters on the Half-Shell and a Pitcher of Brew, you might want to ask that guy behind the counter shucking those morsels if he knows when they were fetched!

Oysters are considered to be "In Season" when an "R" falls in the month, according to legend and just like Bubba on "Forest Gump" there are a million ways to eat Oysters. You can Fry em, broil em, bake em, stew em, steam em......or if you are really daring, you can eat them "au naturale"....Raw!

The Basics:

If you don't have access to a waterway, ocean can purchase Oysters unopened, opened on half shell, or in jars. They should be plump, with a natural creamy colour and be free of shell particles, and above all "Smell Fresh".

Personally, as for storage, it all depends on the species purchased, whether they are unopened and other factors...but to be honest, I only buy Oysters the day I prepare them. There are to many concerns about shellfish to gamble on it.

To open an Oyster, hold tight in the palm of your hand, carefully insert a short-bladed, rigid knife, (or you can purchase a special "Oyster Knife") , next to the hinge between the two shells.
Just push against the hinge and twist the knife until the hinge separates the two shells. When you open the shell, just run your knife under the oyster to sever the muscle to free it from the shell. There is a really good pictorial guide.

My all time favorite is about a dozen Oysters, steamed on the half-shell, with tabasco, lemon wedges, crackers and a pitcher of ale! That's what I call "Eating Oysters"!

Nothing warms the spirit like a steaming bowl of Oyster Stew on a cold wintry night!

Oyster Stew


1 Pint of shucked oysters (retain liquid)
1 Pint of Half & Half
1 Cup of Milk
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup of diced celery
1/2 tablespoon of fresh minced onion
1 tsp of Shrimp spice or Old Bay to taste (Optional)

Note: For super-rich stew, you can omit the milk and add another cup of Half & Half, if you dare!!

Reserve "Oyster Liquor" and set aside. Pour Oysters into a skillet with a little butter, and saute until the edges "Curl". Heat other ingredients in a medium size pot but do not bring to a boil, add Oysters and reserved "Liquor", being careful not to overcook!

This is a hearty meal for the winter nights, served with saltine crackers, garlic bread and a salad. It's also a festive soup for the holidays, especially at Christmas!

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