Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Oyster Stew

September 28th, 2009 · 12 Comments

Oysters Stew Image

Fall passed its first week and with the cooler temperatures, it signals in the entrance of hearty warm edible delights including soups and stews. Besides making their way into prominence on menus, oysters are also coming into their peak as well. The old saying was that oysters should only be eaten in months that have the letter “R”, so September has one and we are safely reminded. This old tale goes back to the days before mass refrigeration was available and the storage of seafood stayed fresher longer when the temperatures were cooler, thus the months with “R” coincided with fall and winter seasons here in North America, or the months between September to April. Now that modern refrigeration has solved many of the storage and transportation issues of the bygone era, seafood and oysters in particular are enjoyed year round. Tradition seems to hold fast even with the advent of modern technology becoming more of the fabric, that oysters are enjoyed more in the fall, winter and spring than in the warm summer months.

One of my favorite seafood soups is this oyster stew, which originally appeared on the CCR blog back in February 2009 for the Foodbuzz 24 event featuring the railroad themed article. I decided to pull this recipe out to make its own appearance, thus highlighting it from the other recipes that became hidden in the original posting. While this recipe is known as “Oyster Stew” to me it really has the feel and taste of a thick cream soup. The original recipe title was “Oysters in Cream Stew”, taken from the early Southern Railway dining car menu item, I’ve renamed it here for simplicity and because “Oyster Soup” just does not have the same ring to it at all.

Yield: 8 portions
Ingredients
½ Lb. Bacon, medium diced
¼ Lb. Butter, unsalted (1 stick)
1 Cup Onions, fine diced
1 Cup Celery, fine diced
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
1 Cup Green onions, chopped (divided)
2 Tsp Thyme, fresh, chopped
2 Tsp Oregano, fresh chopped
1 Cup Flour, all-purpose
½ Cup White wine
2 Cups Milk
½ Lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and small diced, blanched to al dente, drained and chilled
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Quart Oysters, drained and liquor liquid reserved
2 Cups Heavy Cream
¼ Cup Parsley, fresh chopped
To taste Salt and white pepper

Procedure Steps
1. Heat a large stock pot over a medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crisp, then remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels, reserve for later. Remove all put 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.
2. Turn the heat to medium and then add the stick of butter and allow it to melt. Add the onions and celery and sweat until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic, ½ cup of the green onions, the thyme and oregano and stir well to incorporate. Add the flour and stir well to incorporate while absorbing the butter, bacon fat and vegetable juices until it forms a blond or light roux.
3. Slowly add the white wine and stir well to incorporate until smooth. Then add the reserved oyster liquor and stir well to blend into the roux-white wine mixture, a wire whisk helps at this stage. Then add the milk and whisk well again. Add the potatoes and the heavy cream then bring the liquid to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. If the consistency seems a bit too thick add more milk and stir well.
4. Add the oysters and allow them to simmer until they just start to curl on the edges.
5. Add the parsley and reserved bacon and simmer for another minute or so. Garnish each cup or bowl with a pinch of chopped green onion and parsley.
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Tags: Recipes · Seafood · Soups

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Chickenless ChickNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 11:19 am

    AAAaaagh, Ryan, you’re killin’ me! I forgot all about oysters when I decided to go mostly-locavore. This calls for an Apalachicola field trip!

  • 2 HoneyBNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    this looks like a great recipe – and an interesting tidbit of information you had. I had never known!

  • 3 sippitysupNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I love this style of soup. You never see it in Los Angeles, so I will have to make it. I forgot how much I loved it. Thanks for the recipe. GREG

  • 4 JessieNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    great tasting soup, It seems like I’ve been bitten by the “Soup Bug” and lately all I want to do is make soup and eat soup lol

  • 5 redkathyNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Oyster soup, haven’t had it in forever! Yours looks perfect!

  • 6 DonalynNo Gravatar // Sep 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I love Oyster Stew- so satisfying and delicious!

  • 7 sizzlechefNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Nice creamy oysters for the toasted sides. Cheers !

  • 8 MyrtilleNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I’d love to taste an Oyster Stew…It looks fantastic. I’ve only had them raw!

  • 9 HillaryNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Looks awesome Ryan!! Thanks for sharing. It’s freezing in my office right now and I could go for a nice bowl of this stew.

  • 10 Ryan BoudreauxNo Gravatar // Sep 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Oh I love them raw too, in fact we found a place near our home that has them on the 1/2 shell for only $8.95 a dozen shucked.

  • 11 JMomNo Gravatar // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I love this version of oyster stew… more creamy and chowder like. This is what I was expecting when I ordered oyster stew here in NC one time, and what they served was oysters in a clear, fairly bland broth. What a disappointment that was!

  • 12 Cajun Chef RyanNo Gravatar // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:20 am

    This recipe is a much thicker version and is chowder like, as you mentioned. The thinner version is typically an old-school type recipe, and some restaurants in New Orleans still serve the thinner broth-like with dairy version too. In some cases the dairy is either just milk, 1/2 & 1/2 or a tiny bit of heavy cream. I like the thicker one myself!