How to cook Louisiana Oyster Stew
- 3 dozen small to medium oysters in their liquor, about 18 ounces
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Add the water to the oysters and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Strain and reserve the oysters and oyster water; refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large skillet combine the butter, celery, peppers, salt and 3/4 cup of the oyster water; cook over high heat 3 minutes, shaking pan (versus stirring) almost constantly. Add the remaining 1/2 cup oyster water and continue cooking and shaking the pan 1 minute. Stir in the green onions.
- Gradually add the cream, whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Add the oysters and cook just until oysters curl, about 2 to 4 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and serve immediately, stirring well as you ladle out the portions.
- For a main course, ladle 9 oysters, a little of the vegetables and 1 cup of the liquid into each serving bowl; for an appetizer, serve half that amount.
- Serve the Louisiana Oyster Stew with lots of fresh crusty bread and butter.
This Oyster Stew recipe is traditionally served on Christmas Eve, but don't wait all year to cook this delicious, simple and easy dish.
Why the Christmas Eve Feast begins with a tureen of oyster stew?
Eating oyster stew on Christmas Eve is a tradition in many American families. A reason for a seafood dish on Christmas Eve was that eating meat the day before a religious feast was proscribed by the Catholic Church. (In Italy, fish soup, “zuppa di pesce,” was likewise consumed.) In some Mexico homes Oyster stew (“estofado de ostras”) also came to be a dish served on Christmas Eve. German celebrations always included, on Christmas Eve, oyster stew too.
Probably because oyster stew is a warming dish, ideal for winter nights, the custom of serving it on Christmas Eve spread throughout the United States, beyond the Irish and Catholic communities.
This recipe for Louisiana Oyster Stew serves/makes: 4
The Louisiana Oyster Stew recipe is adopted from The Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen - 1984.
Main Ingredient: Oysters
Preparation Method: Soup/Stew