North Carolina Sea Grant
Mariner's Menu

Mariner's Menu

December 18, 2009 | Joyce Taylor

another fresh seafood idea

Ideal for winter nights-and days-soups and stews can warm both the body and the soul.

In many families and local customs, oyster stew is a Christmas Eve tradition. Its origin may be traced to early Irish immigrants in America. And early Germans celebrated Christmas with oysters, including oyster stew. In many homes in Mexico, oyster stew is served on Christmas Eve.

Over the decades, the tradition has spread throughout most of the country.

But oysters and oyster soups are not just for the holidays. We always think of them during the cold winter months when they are available.

Low in calories and fat, oysters are a true health food. A one cup serving of drained oysters contains 112 calories and only 4 grams of fat, along with 852 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids. Oysters are high in zinc, along with some other minerals. They are moderately high in cholesterol.

Almost everyone has a favorite oyster stew recipe. Instead of the traditional stew, which is made with milk, we’re offering a delicious, easy soup recipe. But don’t be fooled by the lack of milk. You’ll be delighted by this rich soup.

Serve with the traditional little crackers called “oyster crackers,” or better still, try toasted, buttered homemade bread.

Strain oyster liquid into a measuring cup and remember amount. Chop oysters coarsely. In large saucepan, heat liquid over medium heat, add chopped oysters and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and reserve oysters. Add hot water to the reserve liquid to make 5 cups.

Melt butter in another large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour gradually, stirring constantly until smooth. Gradually add the hot liquid, whisking constantly, and cook until smooth. Add onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add reserved oysters and heat thoroughly. Serve immediately.

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor


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