Oyster Season

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When the weather picks up a crisp chill, that’s one of the first signs that it’s time to pull out the steamer pots and shucking knives, because Oyster season is finally here!! Oysters really are one of the sea’s most perfect foods. You can pick one up straight from the ocean, shuck them, and enjoy them raw. The saltier the better for me!! But they are best known for their sweet, briny flavor.

However, there are times when you want something more than oysters on the half shell. The holidays are often just that occasion! For those occasions, here are some favorite oyster recipes for you to try.

Oysters are great fried. Dip them in beer batter to make a crispy fritter, or bread them with cornmeal and pile them on French bread with lettuce and tomato for a traditional New Orleans po’boy.

This time of year, oyster dressing is often the most popular recipe, but I love Oysters Rockefeller, or what we call Devils on Horseback. You’re sure to find a great way to prepare this tasty treat in our collection of great oyster recipes.

Devils on Horseback

(My friends and I have been making and enjoying this one for years)

Ingredients

  • Fresh oysters
  • Hot Sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • Fresh or purchased cooked bacon pieces

Directions

  1. Drain oysters, and place drained oysters in a broiling safe dish, (I use Au Gratin dishes). Cover generously with hot sauce, and top with bacon pieces. Broil in oven until bubbly and the bacon starts to brown. I use an oven safe “deviled egg holder” for cooking these. Serve with saltines. Sorry this recipe seems vague, much of it depends on the number of oysters you have, the number of people you are serving, and how much hot sauce you like. Once the oysters are gone the hot sauce and bacon are still deliciously flavored with the oyster liquor, enjoy!!

Three-Cheese Baked Oysters

Ingredients

  • 14 fresh medium-sized oysters
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup shredded, white cheddar
  • 1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon or bacon pieces
  • ¼ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed, or fresh spinach, cooked and drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Make sure the oysters are rinsed and clean, then begin by shucking the oysters, place one oyster in a folded dish towel. Look for the natural hinge in the small end of the oyster. Insert the tip of an oyster shucking knife into the hinge, dig and twist (hopefully you will see the oyster pop open slightly), wipe your knife and run the edge of the knife under the oyster to release the shell. Leave the oyster in the bottom of the shell.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set the oysters in their shells on the baking dish.
  3. Squeeze the spinach to remove all of the excess liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, white cheddar, bacon, chopped spinach, garlic, and crushed pepper. Mix well.
  4. Spoon a spoonful of the cheese topping over the top of each oyster. Sprinkle the tops with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden. Serve warm.

Serving size, 1 oyster; Calories 83, Carbohydrates 0g., Fat 7g., Protein 3g., Cholesterol; 4g., Sodium 129mg., Fiber 0g.

Pan-Fried Oyster Appetizers with Italian Oreganata Sauce

Ingredients

  • 12 oysters, shucked (you can generally purchase a fresh pint at seafood markets)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 large eggs, whipped
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • ½ cup asiago cheese, grated
  • ½ cup parmigiana Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped, plus a pinch
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 lemons, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1-inch olive oil

Directions

  1. Set up a dredging station with 3 shallow bowls or dishes, one bowl is flour, a second bowl is egg and half and half, and a third bowl is panko, asiago, parmesan, and oregano.
  2. Add enough oil to a heavy skillet (a skillet with 3-4-inch sides) to reach about 1 inch in depth and heat to 325 degrees. (Use a thermometer for a correct reading).
  3. Dredge the oysters in the flour, followed by the egg and half and half, and lastly the panko mixture. Transfer the oysters to the pan, cooking no more than 3-4 at a time for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes on each side. Transfer oysters to a tray lined with paper towels and continue with the rest of the oysters.
  4. Drain all but two tablespoons of oil and return the pan to the heat. Add lemon slices and cook, turning once until they are all browned. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir. Continue stirring while you add butter, one tablespoon at a time to the pan. Just before the first pat of butter is completely melted, add the next one. Continue until all of the butter is used and you have a sauce. Stir in parsley and the last pinch of oregano.
  5. Spoon the lemon butter sauce onto 4 plates and top with 3 oysters each.

Serves 4.

Oyster Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 1-quart shucked oysters, undrained
  • 4 thick bacon slices, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 small fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped, (I generally use 1 tablespoon chopped jalapenos)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Place an oven rack in the lower-third of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Drain oysters, reserving 1 ½ cups oyster liquor. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in Dutch oven.
  2. Add butter and next 4 ingredients to Dutch oven, sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and lemon juice, cook 1 minute. Add wine, cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in cream, and next 4 ingredients, and reserved liquor, bring to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in oysters and bacon. Spoon mixture into 6 lightly greased 12-ounce ramekins, (or this can be made in a pie shell using premade crusts and roll out premade crusts). Cut pastry sheets into circles slightly larger than ramekins, and place 1 on top of filling in each ramekin. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water, brush mixture over pastry.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees on lower rack 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.