Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baked Oyster Appetizer to Ring in the New Year!


As 2010 comes to a close, I would like to thank everyone who visits Savoring Time in the Kitchen and for all of your kindness. I would also like to wish each and every one of you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

The weekend before Christmas, our gourmet group got together for a festive, holiday gourmet at another group member's home. As is the custom with our group, each couple is assigned a recipe to prepare from the menu which is chosen by the hosts. Our assigned recipe was a baked oyster appetizer.



Not being from a part of the country where oysters are popular, I've never developed a taste for them and never think of ordering them in restaurants - mainly for fear of them not being fresh.  We are fortunate to have a very well-stocked grocer near us and, as luck would have it, they had just received shucked oysters for sale.  I watched as a new container of shucked oysters was opened in front of me so I knew they were the freshest I could possibly get.

Our group knows we are always free to 'interpret' our assigned recipes as we like, so the final recipe ended up being a composite of several I consulted. The end result was so delicious that everyone wanted to have my version. They were delicious and I know I will make this recipe again!




Baked Oyster Appetizer
Printable Version

Serves 10

About 2-1/2 pounds of fresh, shucked oysters, drained. Enough for each person to have about 5-6 large oysters
1 tablespoon of bacon fat or olive oil (the bacon fat is not necessary but the flavor is great with oysters)
2 leeks thinly sliced (white and pale green part only)
2/3 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
¼ cup dry white wine
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups bread crumbs from Italian bread
1-1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried oregano
¾ cup finely minced fresh parsley

Place 10 ramekin dishes on a large baking sheet with rim.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté leek, celery, cayenne and bay leaf in bacon fat or olive oil until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook just a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add white wine and cook briefly, until wine is mostly absorbed.

Add softened butter and stir until melted. Remove pan from heat. Remove bay leaf, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir together until well blended.

Place 5-6 large oysters in the bottom of each ramekin. Divide the bread crumb mixture equally over the top of oysters. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. This can be done in early in the afternoon the day of serving.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Bake ramekins about 18 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden and browned. Place ramekins on individual serving plates.

56 comments:

  1. Looks fantastic! I loved oysters! On the half shell. Never had them cooked before, but I'd love it.
    You have the best group of Gourmets. Ours never got off the ground!

    Happy and Healthy New Year, Susan, to you and your family!

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  2. This is how I would like them..baked..not raw..I think I would love these Susan..I bet you had a ball..
    So nice longtime friends:)
    Thanks for the recipe..

    Thank you for this year and your lovely blog and recipes.

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  3. Hi Susan, did you by chance get those beauties from Sendik's? I'm thinking of trying this recipe, as it looks delicious. And a Happy New Year to you!!!

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  4. I did, Becky! Hopefully, they're still on sale. They had the best price in the city.

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  5. Susan...these look devine! I will have to make these but I am unsure who else will be eating them besides me....what a problem to have, lol!

    Happy New Year!
    Blessings!
    Gail

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  6. Thanks for this wonderful recipe Susan! Happy New Year dear....A Hug...

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  7. Awesome dish... like oysters Rockafeller but easier. A friend dropped a stack of my little dishes like yours... I wonder if you could make a large one?? Have a great new years, dear Susan... I know it will be delicious and gorgeous. Thanks for the super recipe!

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  8. I adore oysters on the half shell, Susan. They are such a wonderful taste of the sea...but I know they are not for everyone. Your baked oyster recipe sounds delicious and a wonderful way to serve them at a dinner party.

    Good health and happiness in the new year!

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  9. Looks great. Never had oysters, though I love seafood. My husband would enjoy this dish.

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  10. I have never been crazy about oysters, even when I lived in France and one could get them live!
    These baked oysters are more like a gratin and I would love them prepared this way. All that garlic is right up my alley!

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  11. love the way you prepared this love your blog Susan happy new year

    Rebecca

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  12. These do look special and sound good too. I am gradually warming up to oysters but I know my family would love them.

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  13. Happy New Year Susan! Wishing you all the best in 2011:@)

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  14. Susan, this looks so delicious. We love oysters on the half-shell, but this would be so easy and you do not need to pry open the shells. Wonderful recipe. Thanks. Happy New Year to you. I have enjoyed getting to know you better. Susan

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  15. Love raw oysters so I know this would be something I would like! Have you ever bought the oysters from Fabian? I know he was carrying them one time when they stopped.

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  16. Thank you, all, and Happy New Year!

    I have not bought oysters from Fabian, Barb. I used east coast oysters in this recipe and, from what I read, Gulf oysters should not be eaten during the summer months.

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  17. Susan,
    First, let me thank you for taking the time not only to read the trends 2011 project posts, but to respond so thoughtfully to them. You got me on the soda!!! It is a goal of mine for 2011. I cannot believe that I am so careful in every other way.
    I love oysters.
    When I was a child, my grandfather used to order in buckets from northern BC where they were so beautiful and were flown in the same day. They looked just like paint buckets - a gallon each, but were just plain silver. My dad and grandfather would open the bucket, sniff in the sea, and start downing a few fresh and raw. They always came shucked and in their own juices. I have loved them always, and because of that, I have continued to serve them during the season every year. Either at the Christmas dinner, or the Boxing Day Dinner. Both are at my house and everyone comes to both. I bread and fry them. That is the only way to do it for my dad - unless I can get fresh ones. Then, raw. I love them raw, too... but, with everything else going on at this time of year, I usually do not make the special trip or put in the special order to get really super fresh ones. And, each kind does taste quite different. I am not an oyster aficionado, but I would like to do a tasting of several varieties. The thing is, they are not all harvested at the same time. Your dish looks lush and scrumptious to me,but these are definitely an acquired taste, particularly when cooked when the flavours intensify and the textures can be very off putting to some.
    I love the idea of a gathering of friends for a pot luck this time of year!
    Happy Happy New Year!
    I cannot wait to see how you bring it in!
    :)
    Valerie

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  18. I've never had baked oysters, but I love the idea of the Italian spices and bread crumbs over them. I also like that this recipe can be made ahead of time.

    Happy New Year Susan!

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  19. Everything about the recipe sounds good, except the oysters. :D
    Have a Very Happy New Year !

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  20. I love baked oysters! We just had them for Christmas Eve. I never have them very often because no one likes them except me! Happy New Year!

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  21. I've had oysters many ways, but never baked- they sound wonderful! My grandpa was a waterman and had an oyster business, so oysters still are always a part of our holiday celebrations. We usually have fried oysters and even oyster stew, but maybe it's time to start a new tradition with these. :)

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  22. I haven't done oysters since we left Charleston--where they were very fresh and usually roasted. This recipe sounds delicious. I'm sure the Chicago Fish Market must have fresh ones and will have to check my next trip--with the thought in mind to do your recipe.

    Wishing you a delicious and happy new year!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  23. Haven't had oysters for a really long while. Those make a really exciting and flavoursome dinner starter and they look to die for!

    Happy New Year!
    Angie

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  24. We get them here when we dig for clams. DH just eats them on the half shell, raw. Not me!
    Your version looks delicious, similar to a baked clam.
    Happy New Year!
    Hard for me to think about food yet! Tea and toast is it!

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  25. Looks great! Only way I'll eat oysters now is under a layer of breadcrumbs. Favorites are Bienville and Rockefeller.

    Before refrigeration oysters weren't eaten in the summer months. Now it's a year round thing.

    Lostpastremembered, Sur la Table has their own line of ramekins on sale right now. Lots of sizes.

    http://www.surlatable.com/product/sur+la+table+round+porcelain+ramekin%2C+1%26%23189-%26%2334-+oz..do?keyword=ramekins&sortby=ourPicks

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  26. I love oysters raw but am very tempted by this recipe I tried to comment earlier bit it woild not accept. Best wishes for you and your family in 2011.
    Rita

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  27. Lucky you to have fresh oysters at your grocery store. Your recipe looks utterly delicious.

    Happy New Year, Susan! Can't wait to see what you have to offer in 2011.

    ButterYum

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  28. Wow! Good for you for trying something that your not sure of! I am not an oyster fan....BUT these do look good. I may have to re-think! :)

    ~Liz

    P.S. I'm your newest follower!

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  29. I love oysters and know I would enjoy your recipe, Susan. Getting them fresh is the secret.

    Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is a happy, healthy and prosperous year for you and your family. I'm looking forward to all the recipes you will share with us next year.

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  30. As always a fabulous recipe you have shared. My DH absolutely loves oysters and I will have to make this for him. I can see it as an entree' as well.

    I started a dinner group last Jan. and it is just for the ladies. I do like the format of your dinner group, it makes it a little easier on the hostess. I think this year we may have to go to that format. I appreciate you sharing it.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  31. Forgot to mention, some of the best oysters come from Applachicola, FL (from my area) and they were not affected by the oil spill. It is an old wives tale concerning eating oysters during the summer months. My DH eats raw oysters year round. There is only just a slight taste difference. When you get oysters during the winter months they tend to have a saltier taste. Living along the Gulf Coast my whole life I was raised on oysters.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

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  32. Susan- I love oysters and this looks like something I need to try. Happy New Year.
    dahlianut/Linda

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  33. Susan, Thank you for your consistantly fabulous recipes and sweet friendship this past year.
    I can't say that I have developed a taste for oysters but they do look wonderful and crumbly and buttery.
    Sounds like a fabulous way to spend the evening!
    Happy New Year! I look forward to many delicious new recipes and a continuing friendship in 2011!
    xo Yvonne

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  34. I don't really have taste for oysters either but my husband loves them! This recipe sounds and looks delicious in those fabulous ramekins - I will have to give it a try. I bet they would be fabulous with a glass of Champagne - yum!!! Happy New Year to you - Cheers:)

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  35. Susan, These look great! Your photography is beautiful too.
    Beth

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  36. Happy New Year to you too! I'm so glad I discovered your blog this year; it's great!

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  37. What a lovely treat... perfect for a New Year's party. Oysters just seem like a holiday treat, from my mom's oyster dressing.
    This looks like another friday's favorite for sure :-)

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  38. Your blog is wonderful. I found myself clicking on all of the pictures in the sidebar and now have a bunch of new recipes I want to try. I recently got an ebelskiver pan and saw your recipe for them and the lemon curd. Is the microwave lemon curd really good? It looks amazing. Those deviled egg chicks are adorable, and that almond toffee, well, I'm drooling here!

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  39. amazing!!! makes me hungry now!!

    happy 2011! all the best in the coming year!! god bless xx

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  41. I love how you rang in the new year with a culinary challenge...it's a testament to your vim and vigor when it comes to food! This sounds delicious! Happy New Year Susan!

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  42. This look absolutely yummy! I whish you a really Happy New Year, huggs, gloria

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  43. Susan, my grandmother loved oysters, I used to buy them for her all the time! She loved oyster stew! I really like the looks of this appetizer - nice job! I'm looking forward to spending more time "visiting" & "cooking" with you in 2011! Happy New Year!!!

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  44. Happy New Year to you!
    It has been such a pleasure to visit your blog this year. I look forward to all the wonderful creations and photos you will bring us in 2011!!
    Kisses&hugs

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  45. Looks great! I am fortunate to have fresh oysters in abundence here

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  46. Susan, this is a wonderful post since we love raw oysters and would enjoy this too. With a January birthday, I am thinking of ordering oysters for Joe's special day. Happy New Year to you!

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  47. I absolutely love oysters but u know what, I realise I've never had them cooked, lol. I have always been a huge fan of raw oysters so this is a must try! Baked oysters as an appetizer!

    Happy New Year to you too :)

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  48. Un post fantastico! Ciao, Susan! Buon 2011!!! :-)

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  49. Susan, my mom loves oysters (mainly raw) but I don't. I might be able to tolerate them baked like this. Thanks for sharing!


    Nisrine

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  50. Interessanti ricette e bellissime foto! Complimenti e buon 2011! Dana

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  51. Thank you again, my friends! I hope the New Year has greeted you all with happiness!

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  52. We are fortunate to be in oyster land here, not far from the Chesapeake Bay. I love them anyway I can eat them; especially baked in an individual dish, served with a crumb topping!

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  53. fantastico e goloso!!!!!!!!complimenti!!!!

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  54. Thanks for visiting/commenting! I really need more traffic to my site.

    I love oysters and that dish looks delicious!

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  55. Looks fantastic! I loved oysters! On the half shell.. fried... broiled... any way!

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