Oyster Fricassee Recipe
"The colonists had a ready source of oysters from Chesapeake Bay," says Susan Dippre who oversees the gardens at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. "I enjoy this rich, creamy casserole, a special dish from Colonial Williamsburg's holiday recipe collection."
- 1 quart shucked oysters
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
- 3/4 cup butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 cups crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 50 crackers)
- Lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°. Drain oysters, reserving oyster liquor; set aside. In a large saucepan, saute onions and celery in 1/2 cup butter for 4-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Reduce heat; add parsley, salt, thyme, pepper, cayenne and reserved oyster liquor. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot liquid into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly.
- Pour half of the sauce into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with half of the oysters; sprinkle with half of the cracker crumbs. Repeat layers. Melt remaining butter; drizzle over the top.
- Bake, uncovered, 23-28 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon slices and thyme sprigs. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Oyster Fricassee in Country Woman December/January 2009, p12
Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
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