Growing up in Delaware gave me a deep and abiding love for seafood of all kinds. Rarely have I met a fish that I didn’t like and, for sure, I have yet to meet a shellfish that I didn’t love. Oysters count at the top of my list ever since I was a little girl, standing on tiptoes and watching my Grandmother make her simple, delicious oyster stew. I craved that first bowl, full of cream and butter and oysters. Heaven.
And yet, living out of Delaware made me forget about oysters a bit, because once you have a taste for Chincoteague oysters and oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, nothing ever quite compares. (Except Naked Cowboys and those you MUST eat raw and as part of the oyster sampler at Harry’s Seafood.)
SO. Now I am back on my home turf and I want oysters. Dream of oysters. Plotting and planning where we can go get buck a shuck. (Hint – NOT Feby’s Fishery – never ever ever, please.) But then, I didn’t care about buck a shuck when I was sitting at Woody’s Crab House in Northeast, Maryland and drooling over their raw bar selections. The Chincoteague oysters weren’t too far off at $1.75 each and worth every briny bite. It was home and my childhood and my Grandmother’s kitchen and swoonworthy all in one moment. That is a helluva an oyster.
Woody’s also served up amazing crab cakes (we tried them broiled and fried), delicious crab bisque AND crab soup, plus wonderful service. It is one of the best lunches since I have been back.
Even after several dozensss of the oysters at Woody’s, the craving continued and as the temps dropped, I started
thinking obsessing about my Grandmother’s Oyster Stew. The little swirls of butter laying on top of the cream and dimpled by plump oysters were driving me mad. After a few calls around, I headed to George and Sons’ Seafood Market in Hockessin. Hellooooo seafood bounty and Virginia oysters that did beautifully in the stew.
Mom passed along this recipe for Oyster Stew and the first bite hit me with all the nostalgia that the Chincteague oysters did. On a cool day, you absolutely want a warm kitchen and a bowl full of cream, butter, and oysters. How could you not? Bonus, it takes only a few minutes to make. And get the oyster crackers … they rock!
The Hungry Goddess oyster adventures will continue since the season in Maryland just started on October 1. I have plenty of time to sample more dozenssss and even get down to Chincoteague and chat up some oyster men. Stay tuned and until then … make this. You’re welcome.
- 1 pint of fresh, shucked oysters in their juice
- 1 -2 tablespoons of butter (I’m greedy)
- 1/4 cup of finely diced onions
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1.5 cups of half and half
- 1.5 cups of milk (you can make it all milk or switch these up to your perfect ratio, but I like the cream!)
- Salt and Pepper to taste, plus 1/2 tsp salt or a few grinds
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Oyster crackers for yum!
Saute onion in butter in a pan over medium heat until soft – about 5 minutes. Add oysters and the juice and salt. Cook the oysters for approximately 5 minutes, until they curl around the edges. Remove oysters and set to the side. Add flour to make a light roux. I used a whisk to make sure it was combined. Add half and half and milk and stir until warm and it thickens slightly. This stew is supposed to be thin so there will not be too much thickening. Add the oysters back in, stir, and warm for a minute or two. Serve with parsley and oyster crackers. Enjoy!