Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sue Thomas' Christmas Deviled Oysters

I'll admit it, I am not a huge fan of oyster dressing.  There....I said it! Of course there are caveats to any statement as blunt as mine.  When it comes to cooking my dear friend Reed Harrison said it best with regards to what her request would ever be should she have to decide her final meal.  She proclaimed "I would walk to my death blind as long as Anne Clayton was cooking my final meal".  This has always stuck with me as it is combination of Reed's beautiful wit and the God's honest truth when it comes to Anne's competence and abilities in the kitchen.  This year my Dad decided not to make his usual oyster dressing for Thanksgiving but instead we would have Deviled Oysters, a recipe that originally came from Anne's mother, Sue Thomas, and another culinary genius in my book.  Sue was a special lady and one who could make a meal as fine as any served in the most elegant French restaurants while knowing all the Southern favorites along with which fruits and vegetables were in season thus making her meals all the more delicious!  Last year, Anne included this recipe in her article in nFocus and this year it will be a highlight on our Thanksgiving table.  So back to my caveat, I may not be a fan of oyster dressing (which this is not, I must add) but if a recipe comes from Anne (or any other member of the Thomas family for that matter) I will be a willing taste tester as I have never had something she has made that I didn't thoroughly enjoy!  Just remember, even if there is an ingredient you may not think you like, just give it a try....what's the worst that could happen (unless of course you have a seafood allergy)!

Momma's Christmas Devlied Oysters
from Sue Thomas via Anne Clayton

1 quart fresh oysters
1 bunch celery, minced
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
few grinds black pepper
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, more to taste
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 cups toasted bread crumbs
Butter a shallow rectangle glass casserole or gratin dish.  Pick over and drain oysters on paper towel.  
 
Oysters must be very dry.  Saute celery and onions in butter until translucent.  
Add seasoning.  Adjust to taste.  
Butter casserole.  
Add layer oysters, then crumbs, then onion mixture, letting crumbs for top layer.   


 Dot with butter and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbling.  

Serve immediately.
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