OK it's been over a week since my last post and I am not reaching facebook so I hope any of you who have been following are not too put off by my radio silence. In any event I promise to make it up to you in the coming posts. I have been in Chucktown (aka Charleston SC. ) for the last week and a half celebrating Christmas with the Family and friends and we have had some incredible eats. I will share a quick recipe with you that is so rich and Holiday ready and screams Low Country of South Carolina like i don't know anything else does. It is Creamed Oysters. We went to a friends house for dinner and this was the appetizer! Holy Cow Fat Goodness Batman!!!! This has all the richness of the sea AND the richness of the land in one dish, think kinda a surf and turf option on CRACK!
Now creamed Oysters are a very old low Country Dish served at the finest planter's houses up and down the rivers and anywhere you could get fresh oysters,which back in that day was everywhere from the accounts. Visible at the low tide and encrusting the banks of the tidal creeks and rivers of the low country these beauties call to you waiting to be harvested and thrown willing into your mouth straight out of the sea or cooked bathed in some luxurious sauce or fried and nestled in with a crunchy piece of bread and sauce. Charleston natives are so passionate about these briny morsels that they offer up festival days like the ancient Romans to celebrate their culinary power.
Like most of the recipes brought by the colonists to these shores from Europe the Creamed Oyster is a melding of two worlds. The delicate new world bounty and the time honored preparations of the French and English. Sometimes found in old cookbooks and called "chafing dish oysters" after the vessel they were served in, creamed oysters were a staple of colonial period parties and galas, served over toast points or into puff pastry shells these were the Lobster Newberg of their time. They are still a favorite at Low Country gatherings today but are mostly relegated to the cocktail buffet or as an elegant starter for a very formal dinner.
Here for your amusement and enjoyment is a version of Sarah Rutledge's Creamed Oyster Recipe!!
1 qt oysters in their liquor
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs Flour
2 cups Heavy Cream
Ground Nutmeg (fresh if you have it) to taste
Freshly ground white pepper ( if you have it if not pre ground) to taste
Salt to taste
Crisp buttered toast points or Puff pastry shells
3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
Bring Oysters in their liquid to a boil
As soon as they plump using a slotted spoon remove them from the liquid
Roll the butter in flour and add to the hot liquid in bits vigorously whisking until all is incorporated and the sauce begins to thicken.
Stir in cream, nutmeg and pepper
stirring constantly until smooth. Reduce heat to low and simmer till thickened.
Add salt to taste
Reduce heat to low and re add oysters discarding any liquid they left behind
Let them come to temperature in the sauce (do not cook or they will become like rubber) and then spoon into dishes and serve with toast points or over toast points or in a puff shell. Garnish with chopped parsley Enjoy!