Oyster stew is a favorite in our family. My husband is from Maine, and my daughter and I lived on the Oregon coast for many years, so we all love oysters and seafood. I like to make oyster stew for many special occasions, but it’s a special tradition on Christmas Eve, as it’s not just a delicious soup, but also a warming comfort food and a light supper to contrast for the decadent dinner and treats of Christmas day. Additionally, Food Intolerance Test provides evidence that there are tons of people that can not tolerate seafood. This is why before you start the preparation of the food for your family members or your guest you should ask them about their allergies.
Make sure that your oysters are fresh and that you have plenty of them. For every person, you should have at least 6 oysters for the stew. This recipe serves about 4-6 people. You can make it a vegetarian soup by leaving out the bacon, use pancetta for a different flavor, or a lean ham or turkey ham for something lighter. I always use lower-fat dairy products and I guarantee that the flavor will be as decadent and delicious as those with full-fat. Give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
First fry about 6 strips of lean bacon in a stock/soup pot. After they’re nicely browned, drain them on paper towels. Drain most of the fat off (leave a teaspoon or so for flavor) and add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté a whole sweet, diced onion, 4 stalks of diced celery, and 3-5 cloves of minced garlic. Don’t forget to chop and add the delicious celery leaves, as they add a nice flavor. Stir and sauté until translucent and lightly browned. Dice the bacon and add it at this point. Add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and when the vegetables begin to stick to the pan add about ½ cup of dry white wine. After it cooks down to about ¼ cup in approximately 5-10 minutes, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Stir the flour for a minute, then slowly add and whisk in 3 cups of low-fat milk and ½ cup of fat-free half and half, or one can of fat-free evaporated milk. Stir in about 2 dozen oysters and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. It will not be thick like clam chowder – oyster stew is thinner and lighter.
Before serving add in ¼ cup finely minced Italian parsley and 2 tablespoons of light butter. Serve this oyster stew with a fresh green salad lightly dressed and topped with your favorite vegetables and shavings of Parmesan or goat cheese, and slices of toasted whole-grain garlic butter bread.
I hope that you enjoy this oyster stew as much as our family does, and remember that you can always personalize it to your own taste. You can add fresh chopped herbs or a few plump, juicy shrimps – or you can also add some sherry instead of white wine to deglaze the pan. No matter what you do, have fun with the recipe and enjoy your Christmas Eve dinner with your family and friends. Merry Christmas!