Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Eve Supper

I'm trying to get a plan made for the Christmas weekend meals. One thing that is definite is that we will have oyster stew on Christmas Eve. It's so quick to make after we get home from church. And it's delicious. (I'll confess...I don't eat the oysters--just the stew. And I love it.)

We've done this for several years now. The photo above was from an earlier Christmas Eve. That year after we made it, Jessica asked for the recipe to post on her blog. She also asked that I write something about this recipe. Here is what I wrote for her blog that year:

When I was growing up, we had oyster stew for supper on Christmas Eve. My mother wrote her recipe down many years ago.  But when I made it after she died, it surely didn't taste like hers. So I never made it again. Saw this recipe in an email this week from Paula Deen--Food Network star. It came from a southern cookbook. Sounded like what mother did--even though it wasn't exactly what she wrote. We made it tonight after the Christmas Eve service at our church. And it tasted exactly like it should. Catapulted me back to being 12 years old!  
Growing up, we ate ours with ketchup (made the stew the nicest shade of pale pink) and saltine crackers (although we called them soda crackers back then).  Your dad said his family used Texas Pete (a hot sauce) and crackers. We only made a half recipe tonight. Just right for the three of us. (And yes, that means we had the small container of oysters--about 1 cup--for this small batch.)
It made the loveliest supper tonight.  Merry Christmas!
Oyster Stew
1-2 pints shucked oysters
4 cups whole milk
1 pint evaporated milk
4 to 6 tablespoons butter
Salt and whole black pepper in a pepper mill
Drain the oysters in a sieve set over a bowl, saving the liquor, and pick over them for any lingering bits of shell. Put the reserved strained liquor, milk, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and add the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer 5 minutes.
Add the oysters and simmer until they’re plump and firm and their gills curl, about 5 minutes, taking care not to overcook them. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper and serve at once, making sure that a goodly portion of oysters and butter makes it into each bowl.  Serves 6-8.

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