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Oyster Fricassee

 Oyster Fricassee
"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."
6 ServingsPrep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + standing

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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.

2 of 2

Oyster Fricassee (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • 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.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving equals 639 calories, 44 g fat (23 g saturated fat), 297 mg cholesterol, 1,024 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 17 g protein.
Wine: Light-Bodied White Wine: Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.