"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."
~ Hal Borland
~ a 'rich' holiday tradition for Christmas or the New Year ... delicious recipe adapted from Simply Recipes, a great site and one that cooks much like I do ...
1 pint freshly shucked oysters (such as bluepoint)
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 minced celery stalks plus leaves
1 minced sweet onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream (or all milk if you choose but once a year the cream is good)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley (reserve a tad for garnish)
Crisp crumbled bacon for garnish (optional)
- Strain oyster juice thorough fine sieve. Remove grit and reserve juices. Rinse oysters under cold water and set aside.
- Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Reduce heat and cook mixture, stirring often, until color of coffee-with-cream. Stir in celery, onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add oyster juice and any juices in reserved oyster bowl. The flour in roux will absorb liquid and turn into a paste. Slowly add milk/cream, stirring to incorporate as you pour in. Add cayenne to taste. Heat soup to steamy over low heat (below simmer) for 10-15 minutes.
- Add oysters and cook for another 2 minutes or until edges begin to curl.
- Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and minced parsley. (If too thick, add more milk/cream).
- Serve garnished with fresh parsley, crisp crumbled bacon, and oyster crackers. (4-6 servings)