Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oyster Green Curry Stew

Can't stop thinking about the oyster stew. Why, cause I'd never had it before I suppose AND I'd do it up Thai style. Green curry oyster stew. Good god all mighty. Some jasmine rice, a cold white, some veggies in the stew....

Local Banter

I met up with a few women from my book group, met under the I5 park and ride on 65th to cruise north together in Eliza's Champagne Lady, a V6 Camry Toyota, compliments of an older relative. We got out of our three cars and immediately began asking about the newest member of the club, whom I'd just meet the month before, Karen, a wiry biker. Crunch...she was broad-sided a couple of weeks ago and is still laid up in the hospital.... "She'll be back".

Then the stories just rolled out of us fast and furious about this accident and that high blood pressure and the two week coma and car accidents and cars hitting pedestrians and cars and cars drove over our heads and then we popped into the Lady and hit the over head up to Edmonds where food and wine awaited. We never know what the book club host has prepared for us and this July evening it was fresh salmon !!! A full on dinner with's, how ever you spell it...appetizers.

Heather darling topped the salmon with brown sugar and paprika. Very tasty! and different. I am sold on it. We talked salmon for awhile. I shared a favorite I gleaned from Secky Fascione - salmon served with a side of caramelized onions. Yikes, a knock out. Love it, but then anything served with caramelized onions I swoon over.

Heather's four year old has a cowlick...a cow tongue and hair. A cowlick.

I drank the Australian Chardonnay, the big bottle Costco put on the map, two kangaroos, very "drinkable". The wine lingo. My nephew manages the wine and beer department at The Roadhouse, in Ann Arbor Michigan. The Roadhouse is one of the Zingerman Deli businesses. Super nice community. A good place to work, a small giant, as Bo Burlington refers to it in his book titled the same, Small Giants. Anyway, the news is - nephew Kevin has accepted an invitation to attend Pinot Noir camp next summer. Pinot Noir camp in the Willamette valley. Good times.

Heather served us strawberries and blueberries for dessert under the Edmonds sky. And the light, white to the North with a spectrum of blue trailing south, a sublime end to a gorgeous day on the Puget Sound.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Oyster Stew and the Fourth of July Garden

The Fourth of July holiday brought oyster madness to my house. Sister-in-law Diane bid high on a 5 gallon bucket of fresh picked oysters, delivered, at a fund raising auction. On July 3rd all at the table gorged out on grilled oysters.

Here is how we cooked them:
The gas grill on high, place the oysters oyster down, if you can figure that out...actually doesn't really matter because you can turn them while they cook. They are done when they bubble water, which means their tight shell has opened..takes around 5 minutes on a high grill and they get HOT so grab them with a glove, get them on a platter and to the table! They open easily, with a little prying. We used a flat nosed screw driver. Don't have a gas grill ? Any heat will do...a fire, charcoal, lid up or down...look for the bubbles.

Diane prepared three dips ...

A cocktail sauce of ketchup, horse radish, lemon and Tabasco

A champagne vinegar, shallot, champagne blend

And a soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic sauce. I don't have exact recipes but the three made a nice variety as we worked our way through half the oysters.

July fifth and we were back around the table for the remaining mollusks in an oyster stew....a New Orleans speciality of Diane's. Delicious. Here's her recipe:

green onion

cook together until soft.

Add 1 qt. milk
bay leaf
cook diced potatoes if you want hearty
bit of sherry

bring to simmer, add

oysters & juice

on serving, add crisp pancetta or bacon
and parsley

Here's another recipe for Oyster Stew by "Emeril". I have not tried it, yet.

Phil Harris' Oyster Stew

1/2 cup diced peeled boiling potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 pints freshly shucked oysters (drain their liquor and reserve)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup heavy cream
2 green onions or scallions, finely minced

In 3 cups of boiling water, cook the potatoes until firm-tender (al dente).Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the reserved oyster liquor and cook 30 seconds more. Add the parsley, garlic, potatoes, salt, white pepper, and 20 turns of the black-pepper mill, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the hot sauce and Worcestershire and simmer for 1 minute. Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes.

Fold in the green onions and the oysters and cook just until the edges of the oysters start to curl, about 2 minutes. Stay with it to be sure the oysters don't overcook.

To serve, ladle 1-1/2 cups of the stew into each of 4 shallow soup bowls and top each with 2 turns black pepper.

Makes 6 cups, or 4 first-course servings.

From "Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking," by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch (William Morrow & Co., 354 pages, $25 hardcover)


The salad in the picture, way back at the beginning of this blog, is made of greens from my garden. Everyone agreed - greens from the garden have gobs more flavor than anything you can buy anywhere.

My garden chard and kale, gone to seed; both planted from starts in early April.
The garlic is curling, yellow, over with seeds. The squash is slowly taking off.