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 otherpeople, who squirm at the sight of this homely invertebrate, may neverbe won over unless they’re led to the table blindfolded. Oysterlovers, on the other hand, close their eyes in ecstasy as they sup ontheir Belons, Blue Points, Olympias, or jumbo to small Pacifics. Many people who shun the uncooked oyster turn out to enjoy theflavor that pervades a good oyster stew.

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So, at least, it appearedamong our tasters, a number of whom overcame initial antipathies tospoon down this rich broth with gusto. To be totally faithful to Rob Gischer’s recipe, you shouldpour off the oysters’ liquor before adding them to the stew. Hefeels that the juice clouds the stew. We, however, hold faithfully tothe belief that the soul of the oyster is in its liquor. His use oftiny Olympia oysters is a decided luxury to those who live beyond theshores of Puget Sound; small Pacifics are an admirable alternative.Birch Bay Oyster Stew 6 slices bacon, diced 1 clove garlic, minced orpressed 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 Pacificoysters 4 cups (1 qt.) whipping cream 1/4 cup each chopped parsley andgrated parmesan cheese 5 to 10 teaspoons butter or margarine Dry dillweed (optional) In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, cook the bacon untilcrisp, stirring occasionally; lift out becon and let drain on papertowels. Discard all but 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings. Add thegarlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Pour in the chicken broth andthe oysters with their liquid (cut large oysters in half). Bring tosimmering 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 asprinkling of parsley, some parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of butter, dill,and crisp bacon bits. Markes about 10 cups, enough for 5 entree or 10first-course servings. Remember the saying, “The nearer the bone the sweeter themeat”? When you regard the lean, unlovely, and relativelyinexpensive lamb shank, keep in mind that all its meat is quite near thebone.

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

) condensed beef broth 1/2 cupdry vermouth or dry white wine Hot cooked linguine Rub lamb shanks well with the oil, then rub garlic evenly overmeat. Arrange lamb in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and sprinkle withpepper and rosemary. Pour in broth an d vermouth. Cover tightly and bake in a 300[deg.

] oven until meat pulls easilyfrom bone, 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Arrange hot pasta on a rimmed platter; towith shaks and keep warm. Skim fat from juices and discard. Measurejuices; if more than 1-1/2 cups, boil uncovered over high heat untilreduced to this amount.

Pour into a bowl to spoon over individualservings of lamb and linguine. Makes 4 servings. To most Mexican food buffs, a chalupa is a small, fat, canoe-shapedvessel of masa (tortilla dough) carrying a cargo of meat or cheese withsome sauce and a garnish. It is a robust New World cousin of the daintypastry barquette which, filled with some pureed vegetable, adorns yourentree (and jacks up its price) in an elegant Continental restaurant. But to Chef Lyle Groundwater in Tucson, chalupa is a whole-mealdish of spiced beans, pork, and chilies–served over a crunchy bed focorn chips. Like many full-bodied stews, it improves in flavor withstanding.

He suggest that yu hide it aways the day you make it, or itschances of surviving to perfect its flavor the next day are negligible.Chalupa 1 pound dried pinto beans Water 3 pounds boneless pork butt 1large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 2 tablespoonschili powder 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves 2cans (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 largebowl, 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 toside 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 beansare tender to bite and meat shreds readily when pulled part with twoforks, 2-1/2 to 3 hours; stir occasionally. Add salt to taste. (For athicker consistency, cook uncovered during last 30 minutes.) To serve, place some tortilla chips in a wide soup plate. Spoonpork-and-bean mixture over top. Offer your choice of condiments, eachin a separate bowl, to add individually.

Makes about 8 servings. Condiments. Choose 3 or 4 from among the following: 2 cupsshredded iceberg lettuce, 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1 cupshredded sharp cheddar or jack cheese, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1 largeavocado (peeled, pitted, and diced), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup choppedfresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, 1/2 cup prepared taco sauce. GreenValley, Ariz. Our Chefs do not limit their efforts to the main course but extendtheir talents, from time to time, to dessert recipes.

David Bissonette,a frequent contributor, sends us one in which the Spartan simplicity ofoats is tempered by the perfumed unctuousness of mashed banana. Theresult is a sweeter, moister, more complete flavored cooky than theusual oatmeal product. It is best freshly baked. Banana-OatmealCookies 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 1-1/2cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup sour cream 3/4 cup mashedripe banana 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice 1-1/2 cups regular rolled oats 1/2cup chopped walnuts In a bowl, stir together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon; setaside. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until blended,then beat in egg and sour cream until well combined. Beat in banana andlemon juice. Stir in the flour mixture, oats, and nuts. For each cooky, drop about 1 rounded tablespoon of batter on agreased baking sheet; space drops about 2 inches apart.

Bake in a350[deg.] oven until cookies are brown around the edges and their topsspring back when lightly touched, 12 to 15 minutes. Lift off; cool on arack. Serve freshly baked; if made ahead, freeze to store and servewhen just thawed.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen. San Francisco


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