Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oyster Stew

Odd, isn't it? Here in the southern highlands, a family tradition was oyster stew around Christmas-time. My mother would get a little can of frozen oysters, thaw them, saute them in a little butter and then add whole milk to the mix. That was heated gently, pepper was added and the bowls were served with oyster crackers.

Last time I was at the grocery store, I got fresh oysters (already shucked) and made oyster stew for our dinner. I bought Campbell's Oyster Stew as a base, so I did cheat a bit.

I cleaned the oysters, making sure there were no bits of shell--or pearls!--left in them. I sauteed them in olive oil, garlic and unsalted butter. Gently, lightly.

The soup went in then, with some half and half and some 1% milk.


It really was perfect. I flourished the pepper grinder over each bowl and tossed in some very fresh oyster crackers.

Yummy. No lie.


  1. Hey! How about that! We're doing oyster stew (and cinnamon buns-yum!) as our Christmas Eve celebration.

    (We used to be purists, and celebrated this way only at Solstice, but neither work schedules nor relatives have made that easy the last few years; we now celebrate Yule on the date of that other large, widely-celebrated seasonal festivity, Whosname.)

  2. I love oyster stew and, here near the Chesapeake, fresh oysters are available all of the "R" months. My recipe is a lot like your mom's, although I mince a bit of celery and onion, very fine, and saute that in the butter for a minute before adding the oysters. And I skip the oyster crackers. Something about these cold months makes soup the perfect meal.