For the French, New Year Means Good Oysters
(and this was the tradition in my home growing up)
(Christmas or New Year's Eve Favorite)
2 pints oysters in their liquid
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
4-6 stalks minced celery and leaves
2-3 minced large shallots
4 - 6 cups 1/2 and 1/2 or mix of heavy cream and milk
Tabasco splashes to taste
1 cup minced fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
- Strain and reserve oyster liquor. Strain oyster liquor again to remove any sand or grit. Discard solids. Rinse oysters well under cold water.
- In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add celery and shallots and cook until slightly softened. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Reduce heat and cook mixture 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until a bit brown looking.
- Add strained oyster liquor and any oyster juices in bowls. Slowly add and whisk in 1/2 and 1/2. Add Tabasco and heat soup to steamy (not boil) for 15 minutes.
- Add oysters (if some too large, chop into 'slurping'-size consistency) and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until edges begin to curl. (Don't overcook tender oysters).
- Add 1/2 of chopped parsley, adjust seasonings, and use remaining for garnish (Serves 8)
Note: At my home growing up and continued on for my adult years, Oyster Stew is also often served with another French Canadian traditional dish ... Tourtiere (Meat Pie).