One of the many traditional dishes for Christmas in the East Coast of North America is the Oyster stew. This delicious soup is an elegant and tasty dinner option not only for Christmas but also great during the cold months of the year.
The rest of the ingredients are easy to get but yet resulting into a delicious and impressive holiday dish to share with friends and family.
Ok, let’s gather our ingredients:
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1/4 c Leek (White bits only), diced 1/4”
- 1 Thyme sprig
- 1/4 c Celery, Diced 1/4”
- 1/4 c White wine
- 2 c Whole Milk
- 4 tbsp Flour
- 1 c Heavy Cream (10% or heavier)
- 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 500 grams Shucked Oysters (Click HERE to get your Effingham Oysters)
- Parsley or paprika for garnish
Now, let’s use a medium saucepan to heat up the butter on medium to low heat and gently sauté leeks and celery until translucent but not brown. Then add thyme and sauté for 1 minute, then add the wine.
Reduce heat to low and add in the flour, stir until incorporated and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Wait until bubbling and then removed from heat.
Whisk in milk and cream until it smoothens. Place pot back on medium low heat. Stir frequently until it thickens. Also, if you have reserved oyster liquor, this is when you want to strain it into the pot. Do not let it boil, if necessary turn the heat low to keep the stew just under a simmer.
Remove thyme sprig and puree mixture with an immersion blender, then season to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco or your preferred hot sauce.
Let’s add the oysters and stir gently. As soon as you see the edges curl, remove from the heat and serve in bowls garnished with chopped parsley and you can dust some paprika if you want. Keep in mind, good quality oysters can typically be eaten raw, so you may want to leave these slightly undercooked. However, check with your local fishmonger for risks in eating oysters raw!
And, there you go! Serve with crusty bread, oyster crackers or saltines and enjoy.
If you are serving this delicious oyster stew at Christmas or New Years, pair it with a bottle of champagne or dry sparking wine. If you drink your wine with no bubbles, a bright wine like a lightly oaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc pairs nicely.
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