Those who shun the uncooked oyster may turn out to enjoy a good oyster stew Essay

The world is divided into oyster lovers and other people. The other
people, who squirm at the sight of this homely invertebrate, may never
be won over unless they’re led to the table blindfolded. Oyster
lovers, on the other hand, close their eyes in ecstasy as they sup on
their Belons, Blue Points, Olympias, or jumbo to small Pacifics.



Many people who shun the uncooked oyster turn out to enjoy the
flavor that pervades a good oyster stew. So, at least, it appeared
among our tasters, a number of whom overcame initial antipathies to
spoon down this rich broth with gusto.

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To be totally faithful to Rob Gischer’s recipe, you should
pour off the oysters’ liquor before adding them to the stew. He
feels that the juice clouds the stew. We, however, hold faithfully to
the belief that the soul of the oyster is in its liquor. His use of
tiny Olympia oysters is a decided luxury to those who live beyond the
shores of Puget Sound; small Pacifics are an admirable alternative.
Birch Bay Oyster Stew 6 slices bacon, diced 1 clove garlic, minced or
pressed 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) regular-strength chicken broth 2 jars
(4 oz. each) Olympia oysters or 2 jars (10 oz. each) small Pacific
oysters 4 cups (1 qt.) whipping cream 1/4 cup each chopped parsley and
grated parmesan cheese 5 to 10 teaspoons butter or margarine Dry dill
weed (optional)



In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until
crisp, stirring occasionally; lift out becon and let drain on paper
towels. Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings. Add the
garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth and
the oysters with their liquid (cut large oysters in half). Bring to
simmering over medium to medium-high heat. When oysters begin to plump,
stir in the cream and heat through.


Ladle stew into a tureen or individual bowls. Top servings with a
sprinkling of parsley, some parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of butter, dill,
and crisp bacon bits. Markes about 10 cups, enough for 5 entree or 10
first-course servings.



Remember the saying, “The nearer the bone the sweeter the
meat”? When you regard the lean, unlovely, and relatively
inexpensive lamb shank, keep in mind that all its meat is quite near the
bone.



In Idaho, where much lamb is produced, Carter Wilson uses long,
slow, moist baking to bring the humble shank to tender succulence. With
pasta and a stout dry red wine, his Snake River Lamb Shanks make a
hearty dinner; just toss a green salad on the side. Snake River Lamb
Shanks 4 large lamb shanks (about 3 lb. total) 2 tablespoons olive oil
or salad oil 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed Pepper 1-1/2
teaspoons dry rosemary 1 can (10-1/2 oz.) condensed beef broth 1/2 cup
dry vermouth or dry white wine Hot cooked linguine



Rub lamb shanks well with the oil, then rub garlic evenly over
meat. Arrange lamb in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with
pepper and rosemary. Pour in broth an d vermouth.



Cover tightly and bake in a 300[deg.] oven until meat pulls easily
from bone, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Arrange hot pasta on a rimmed platter; to
with shaks and keep warm. Skim fat from juices and discard. Measure
juices; if more than 1-1/2 cups, boil uncovered over high heat until
reduced to this amount. Pour into a bowl to spoon over individual
servings of lamb and linguine. Makes 4 servings.



To most Mexican food buffs, a chalupa is a small, fat, canoe-shaped
vessel of masa (tortilla dough) carrying a cargo of meat or cheese with
some sauce and a garnish. It is a robust New World cousin of the dainty
pastry barquette which, filled with some pureed vegetable, adorns your
entree (and jacks up its price) in an elegant Continental restaurant.



But to Chef Lyle Groundwater in Tucson, chalupa is a whole-meal
dish of spiced beans, pork, and chilies–served over a crunchy bed fo
corn chips. Like many full-bodied stews, it improves in flavor with
standing. He suggest that yu hide it aways the day you make it, or its
chances of surviving to perfect its flavor the next day are negligible.
Chalupa 1 pound dried pinto beans Water 3 pounds boneless pork butt 1
large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 2 tablespoons
chili powder 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves 2
cans (4 oz. each) diced green chilies Salt 1 to 2 packages (8 oz. each)
tortilla chips or corn chips Condiments (suggestions follow)


Sort through beans and discard debris. Place beans in a large
bowl, rinse, then cover with water and let soak overnight.



Trim and discard excess fat from meat; cut meat into 2-inch chunks.
Place a 6- to 8-quart kettle over medium-high heat; when hot, add pork,
a few pieces at time, and cook until browned on all sides. Push meat to
side of pan; add onion and garlic, then cook, stirring occasionally,
until onion is limp. Stir in 6 cups water, chili powder, cumin,
oregano, and green chillies. Drain beans and add to kettle.



Bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beans
are tender to bite and meat shreds readily when pulled part with two
forks, 2-1/2 to 3 hours; stir occasionally. Add salt to taste. (For a
thicker consistency, cook uncovered during last 30 minutes.)



To serve, place some tortilla chips in a wide soup plate. Spoon
pork-and-bean mixture over top. Offer your choice of condiments, each
in a separate bowl, to add individually. Makes about 8 servings.



Condiments. Choose 3 or 4 from among the following: 2 cups
shredded iceberg lettuce, 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1 cup
shredded sharp cheddar or jack cheese, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1 large
avocado (peeled, pitted, and diced), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup chopped
fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, 1/2 cup prepared taco sauce. Green
Valley, Ariz.



Our Chefs do not limit their efforts to the main course but extend
their talents, from time to time, to dessert recipes. David Bissonette,
a frequent contributor, sends us one in which the Spartan simplicity of
oats is tempered by the perfumed unctuousness of mashed banana. The
result is a sweeter, moister, more complete flavored cooky than the
usual oatmeal product. It is best freshly baked. Banana-Oatmeal
Cookies 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda,
salt, and ground cinnamon 3/4 cup (3/8 lb.) butter or margarine 1-1/2
cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup mashed
ripe banana 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 1-1/2 cups regular rolled oats 1/2
cup chopped walnuts



In a bowl, stir together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set
aside. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until blended,
then beat in egg and sour cream until well combined. Beat in banana and
lemon juice. Stir in the flour mixture, oats, and nuts.



For each cooky, drop about 1 rounded tablespoon of batter on a
greased baking sheet; space drops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a
350[deg.] oven until cookies are brown around the edges and their tops
spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 15 minutes. Lift off; cool on a
rack. Serve freshly baked; if made ahead, freeze to store and serve
when just thawed. Makes about 4-1/2 dozen. San Francisco

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