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When oysters appeared on our table it meant a special occasion, family gathering and oh, let’s say – joy!  I’ll admit as a child I sneared at the adults who would down these odd looking… I mean could you even call it – food.  Oysters just didn’t pass the sniff test to my little Irish pug nose. ‘Really, your going to eat that – ewwhhhh – stupid adults.’ (Yes I was brat, and a proud Navy brat at that.)  

So my taste for oysters was developed in stages. Below are my favorite oysters recipes in order of introduction to my palate.  As a child I could afford to eat fried oysters as if they were Cheetos.  But the thought of eating them raw was just as strange as the odd smelling glass of water with green olives in it.  Still didn’t pass the sniff test. 

Next on my list of pre-teen tries – was the Oyster Casserole.  This was a secret family recipe handed down through generations. Brought over on the boat from the old country and I was ‘never… never… never…TO SHARE IT.’  ‘Yes ma’am.’ Then I lost the recipe. 

With guilt conjuring up my childhood foundation and hidden in the cloak of night – I googled it.  Oh the shame.  But, wait, what is this?  As the search results unfolded before my eyes. There are pages after pages of Oyster Casserole recipes.  And then I was hit over the head with a fact I never even dared to question.  There are Ritz Crackers in the recipe…. lyin’ adults.

It wasn’t until a Spring Break trip to the Redneck Riveria, peer pressure and an alcohol fueled weekend that I finally let a raw oyster slither down my throat.  Oh, oh now I get it.  Pass the horseradish please.  Cheers!

Enough said.  Enjoy these recipes.  And never, never share them.

Fried Florida Oysters

Ingredients

  • 1 pint oysters, shucked
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  •  canola oil for pan frying

Preparation

Drain liquid from oysters and remove any remaining shell pieces. Place oysters in a bowl, add milk and stir. Combine flour, bread crumbs or cracker meal, salt and pepper in a small bowl or pie plate. Coat oysters individually with flour mixture. In a heavy skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until hot, but not smoking. Fry oysters for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper. Serve with sauce or on salad.

Yield

6 servings

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 131, Calories From Fat 25 , Total Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 0.78g, Trans Fatty Acid 0, Cholesterol 45mg, Total Carbohydrate 17g, Protein 8g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.51g


Oyster Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 2 pints oysters
  • 1 1/2 cups of Ritz Crackers

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, cream butter and flour together and add milk slowly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Add the next six ingredients; stir to mix. In a 2- quart casserole, make two layers of: oysters, crumbled Ritz crackers*, and whipping cream. Pour sauce over all and sprinkle crumbs on top. Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 40 minutes and/or until top crust is slightly brown and bubblying. *Place Ritz Crackers in quart size Baggie, take wine bottle and crush until you have 1 1/2 cups of crumbled Ritz Crackers.  Don’t over crush.  You want some bite size pieces.

Yield

12 servings

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 295, Calories From Fat 202, Total Fat 23g, Saturated Fat 13g, Trans Fatty Acid 0.90, Cholesterol 105mg, Total Carbohydrate 14, Protein 9g, Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0.66g



Raw Oyster on the Half Shell

Ingredients

  • 24 oysters, such as Malpeque, Kumamoto, or Belon
  • Crushed ice or rock salt

Directions

Scrub the oysters under cold water with a stiff brush to remove the dirt, especially in the hinge area where mud has a tendency to get trapped. Next, find a durable thick cloth and fold it over several times to create a square; this will steady the oysters as you shuck them and also protect your hand. Using the towel as a mitt, place the oyster, cup-side down in the palm of your towel-covered hand with the hinge facing you; have a small bowl handy to catch the delicious juice. Insert the tip of an oyster knife or dull butter knife as far into the hinge as it will go; don’t jab it in there or you could break the shell. With gentle force, twist the knife back and forth to pry the shell open. Using the knife, cut the muscle away from the top shell, bend the shell back, and discard it. Run the knife underneath the oyster to detach it completely, but leave it in its shell. Tip out the briny liquor into the bowl and pour it back over the shucked oysters. Nestle the oysters in a bed of crushed ice or rock salt to keep them steady.


 

Primary recipes from Fresh from Florida.  Althered by Kat per childhood memories and flavors.

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