Oyster Stew on a cold winter’s day brings memories of summers sitting along the beach. Once again, the warmth of the sun and the salty air penetrates the stressful soul to relax the heart. Although I have never made it before, I thought I should realize that I can’t say I’m officially from the Eastern Shore(Maryland) if I can’t make this delicacy! So the quest is on! As always, my first stop for local seafood is my favorite produce market, How Sweet It Is, located just south of my home in Eden, Maryland. They had two varieties of oysters which I asked for a differentiation between. One was a bay oyster the other came from Chincoteague. The Chincoteague oysters they said are a little more salty, so I went with those.
I always love seafood as part of our New Year’s Eve celebration. If it’s just a cozy night around the fireplace, this could be a fabulous way to start the celebration! So, Let’s get to it! This takes, at most, 30 minutes to pull together. Who doesn’t have 30 minutes to create this delicacy? No excuses!. Finely chop a large yellow onion and saute it, along with the garlic, in 1 stick of butter until translucent. Whisk in the flour for about a minute.
Stir in the Old Bay seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. You may want to start with an 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne if you are shy of spicy flavor.
Sprinkle in the chopped parsley, as you continue to whisk the thickened mixture.
Slowly add in the half and half, whisking to blend. Warm over low heat.
Strain the oysters over the simmering pot, allowing the liquor to drain into the stew. Move oysters into pot one by one, checking for any additional pieces of shell that didn’t get trapped in the strainer. DO NOT BOIL !! Continue to cook on low heat until the edges of the oysters begin to “curl” as seen below.
Serve immediately with some Old Bay Oyster Crackers, if desired.
- 1 pint oysters - My oysters were from Chincoteague.
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ c. butter
- ¼ c. flour
- 2 t. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 t. Kosher salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- ¼ t. paprika
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper- Use less if you want it less spicy.
- ½ c. flat-leaf parsley-Italian parsley
- 1 quart half and half- I used fat-free.
- Saute the finely chopped onion, along with the garlic, in the melted butter over low heat until translucent.
- Add the flour and continue to whisk until well blended.
- Whisk in all of the spices.
- Sprinkle in the parsley and blend into the thickened mixture.
- Slowly add the half and half, whisking constantly.
- Drain the liquor from the pint of oysters over the pot if possible.
- Add the oysters one by one into the pot, checking carefully for any bits of shell that weren't trapped in the strainer.
- Continue to cook on low heat until the edges of the oysters "curl".
- Serve immediately; refrigerate any leftovers promptly.