Scalloped Oyster Casserole


D works in the food-service industry and every once in a while he comes home with a purchase from a sale when “dead stock” items are sold to staff members when they have not been successfully sold to customers.  Now because I am the daughter of an Agrologist who specialized in livestock, the term “dead stock” is taking some time to get my head around.  But in the mean time, cooking up some of these items are stretching my culinary skills-and that is a good thing.

Last week D came home with a case of frozen oysters on the half shell.  We love oysters and were excited to give them a try but these in their “raw” state did not live up to ones that we have had at Fat Tuesday parties or our visit to New Orleans.  How could they?  The poor little guys were miles away from their natural habitat and our main complaint was their saltiness.  Well they are salt water creatures, for heaven’s sake, it wasn’t their fault. 

So last night I thawed about three dozen and then removed them from their shells.  Even though my recipe suggested that I reserve the oyster juice, I intentionally discarded it and gave the oysters a quick shower in warm water as well.

Then I followed this recipe and ta da, success.

Scalloped Oyster Casserole

1 lb. freshly shucked oysters

1 c cream (I used 1% milk with good success)

1/2 c butter, melted

1/2 t worchestershire sauce (I doubled this as we LOVE worchestershire)

1/4 t salt (I eliminated)

dash of pepper

2 1/2 c crunched soda biscuits (I used Italian bread crumbs to further reduce the sodium)

2 T butter, cut into slivers for topping (I eliminated, thinking that 1/2 c was quite enough)

Generously butter a glass 7 x 11 baking dish (metal will not produce the crusty brown bottom).  Melt butter & add worcherstershire, salt and pepper.  Place a layer of crumbs in bottom of dish, then layer 1/2 the oysters, pour 1/2 of the melted butter mixture over the oysters (stir butter just before or seasonings will have settled).  Repeat the layers one more time.  Dot with cold butter.  Pour cream (or milk) over top and bake uncovered immediately at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until top is browned and crunchy.

Kath’s quote: “As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”-Ernest Hemingway

posted under Appetizers, Recipes

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