Friday, April 15, 2016

Pan Roasted Oyster Stew

     Pan Roasted Oyster Stew!
     Pan Roasted Oyster Stew differs from a traditional east coast fish house style Oyster Stew.  A plain Oyster Stew is made with only butter, milk cream, oysters, salt and pepper.  Pan Roasted Oyster Stew is a bit fancier.  The oysters are usually placed on a crouton that floats on the highly seasoned stewing sauce.  
      An Oyster Pan Roast is not the same thing as Pan Roasted Oyster Stew, but it is pretty close.  A traditional New York City style Oyster Pan Roast requires bottled Chili Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.  This creates a very strong flavor that can mask the natural oyster flavor.  When entertaining guests from NYC, a strong tasting Oyster Pan Roast is what most will expect.  
     Today's Pan Roasted Oyster Stew has refined taste.  White mirepoix, sherry, saffron, herbs, cayenne pepper and paprika flavor this stew.  No tomato or pre-made bottled sauces are in the list of ingredients.  Sourdough bread is used for the barge.  The result is a light yet savory flavor that does not mask the flavor of the oysters.

     *This entire recipe yields 1 portion.

     Sourdough Crouton:
     Step 1:  Cut 1 slice of sourdough bread that will fit in a shallow soup bowl.  (About 3/8" thick.)
     Brush the bread with melted unsalted butter.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Grill the bread till it is lightly toasted on both sides.
     Keep the sourdough crouton warm on a stove top.
     *Leave the pan on the heat.  The same pan can be used to make the Pan Roasted Oyster Stew!
     Pan Roasted Oyster Stew:
     Step 1:  Place the sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced celery.
     Gently sauté till the vegetables are tender, but not brown.
     Step 2:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place 2 large shucked oysters in the pan.  (By large, I do mean large!  Each shucked oysters should weigh about 2 to 3 ounces.  If no large oysters are available, then add 4 or 5 medium size shucked oysters.)
     Step 3:  Place the pan in a 350ºF oven.
     Roast the oysters till they turn opaque and they are almost fully cooked.  (About 4 minutes)
     Step 4:  *For the rest of the recipe, keep in mind that the handle of the sauté pan will be hot!  Keep a glove on one hand!
     Remove the pan from the oven.
     Add 1 teaspoon of flour while gently stirring.
     Stir till the flour combines with the butter in the pan.
     Step 5:  Place the pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of dry sherry.
     Add 1 1/3 cups of milk, while gently stirring with a spoon.  (Be careful not to damage the oysters!)
     Add 1/2 cup of cream.
     Step 6:  Add 1/2 of a bay leaf.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 small pinch of saffron that is rubbed between the fingers.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 7:  Stir the ingredients as the sauce comes to a gentle boil and thickens to a medium thin consistency.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Serve immediately before the oysters shrink in size.
     Step 1:  Remove the 1/2 bay leaf.
     Spoon the stew into a shallow soup bowl, but leave the oysters in the pan.
     Step 2:  Float the sourdough crouton on the stew.
     Place the oysters on the sourdough crouton
     Spoon a small amount of the stew sauce over the oysters on the crouton.
     Step 3:  Sprinkle 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika over the oysters and crouton.
     Sprinkle a thin bias sliced green onion top over the oysters and crouton.

     This is a nice tasting Pan Roasted Oyster Stew!

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