Unexpected Oyster Dishes You Didn’t Know About


Have you ever thought about why a holiday cannot be every day? In fact, it can! August is in full swing: warm evenings on a yacht, starry skies and salty sea air. What could be better than a glass of wine and oysters with a new unusual “sauce”?
Oyster is the queen of seafood delicacies. There are countless sauces that enhance their delicate flavor. Among lovers of oysters, there are those who adhere to authentic recipes, and there are those who gladly violate all the classic canons and bring unusual ways of preparing these halves of shells into the world. While many of them are causing serious controversy in the oyster community, we guarantee you will love them.

Rockefeller-style baked oysters

The original recipe for this dish appeared in New Orleans at Antoine’s restaurant over a hundred years ago. There is a legend that this way of baking was invented by the owner of the restaurant Jules Alcator. Initially, only snails were baked with herbs and butter, and the chef refined this recipe by adding bread crumbs to it, and adapted it specifically for oysters, which in Louisiana were more than snails.

It is interesting that Rockefeller Alcator took all the secrets of cooking oysters with him. Well, at least the recipe is still kept in the strictest confidence, so today there are many modifications of this interesting dish. Butter, grated parmesan and bread crumbs are considered basic, but there are a great many options for greens. This is parsley, and tarragon, and celery, and spinach, and shallots, which are soaked in wine or better in aniseed French liqueur Pastis or Pernod. In modern restaurants, you can recognize the taste of garlic, hot sauce like Tabasco, capers, nuts and even bacon in oysters a la Rockefeller. In short, experiments are welcome!

What drink should the dish be served with?

The classic of the genre is the Sazerak cocktail. It is prepared on the basis of cognac or whiskey, absinthe, bitter and sugar, which I mix directly in the glass. A lighter option is Chardonnay wine, which goes well with this complex dish. It does not go well with raw seafood, but perfectly sets off the taste of baked oysters, with creamy and cheese sauces. Aged, velvety wine from the South of France or the cooler regions of the New World should be preferred.

Grilled oysters in garlic sauce
The secret of this dish is charcoal cooking. Large, meaty and juicy oysters are a must for those skeptical of raw seafood. This is another interpretation of the baked oyster recipe that’s great for barbecues. Or it will appeal to those who are fed up with the classics, but are not ready to try buffalo oysters. Moreover, no matter what kind of oyster you take: wild or grown on a farm, they will all be perfect for this dish. And, of course, this is a worthy alternative to flambé shrimp or grilled mussels.

What drink should the dish be served with?

The smoky flavor and light nutty flavor of the grilled oysters are perfectly combined with the soft, earthy notes of Pinot Noir.

Nero Wolfe’s Oyster Pie

This unusual recipe comes from a book by American writer Rex Stout about a detective named Nero Wolfe, who was also a gourmet. This exotic dish requires puff pastry, as well as three dozen oysters, a few slices of ham, two onions, celery and parsley, butter, milk and flour. By the way, not just any ham is needed, namely country-cured ham from the American state of Georgia. It is there that it is first salted, then smoked on hickory or maple coals, and only after that it is kept for 6 to 12 months.

This pie is prepared in small portioned pots. What could be more beautiful than “crunching the lid” of puff pastry, while the delicate and at the same time spicy filling spreads its incredible aromas.

What drink should the dish be served with?

And although Nero Wolfe does not recommend a particular drink, wines or dry sherry go well with such a dish. Also, as an experiment, porter or stout can be suitable – in short, dark and strong beers.

Chowder soup with oysters

The paradox of this dish is that the classic recipe for this American creamy soup is based on shellfish and broth, with the exception of … oysters! Therefore, for the first time, the oyster recipe was tested in the city of innovators – New York. That is why it is also called the Manhattan Clam Chowder. The dish is prepared with the addition of bacon, butter and high fat cream, celery, classic onions and leeks, and white wine. The herbs that are used to prepare the dish must be freshly harvested and dropped in a whole bunch. When the bouquet has given up its scent, it is thrown away. Chowder is served both in a classic soup plate and in a bread loaf.

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