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    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Geez Louise... What a Great Way to Cook Oysters

    The Bluff Oyster season is winding down. They have to be the best oysters in the world,
    Click here to read about these little gems.
    Unlike other oysters, they are marketed, already shucked and packed in little containers then flown out from Bluff which is at the bottom of New Zealand.
    When I was a kid my father used to buy them in 10 dozen tins they probably cost only 5 shillings for the lot, now they are $27 a dozen. Like Gold.
    Normally we would eat them raw, with a grind of black pepper and a little squeeze of lemon juice. Sometimes for a change a drop of Tabasco.
    When we only have a dozen to share I like to put them on little triangles of buttered Vogels.
    Delicious. The other day we ended up with a dozen, that for one way and another were nearly past their use by date. Not so good 'au naturel', so time to cook.
    The people of New Orleans, have umpteen recipes for cooking oysters.
    I have a fabulous cookbook that I bought on our first trip there in 1988.
    "La Bouche Creole".
    It no longer has a cover
    And as you can see splotches everywhere, a well used and loved cookbook

    Amongst the many recipes for Oyster and other shell fish was this recipe for Oysters Louise.
    Louise was the Mother of the author, Leon E Soniat, Jr. This was a favourite of his Fathers and his Mother cooked so often they named it after her.
    It is excellent, just serve with some French Bread, on the side
    You will need it to wipe your plate.
    I only had a dozen Oysters so I halved the recipe
    Normally this recipe will feed 4 as a Luncheon/Main dish or 6 as a starter.

    3 dozen Oysters and their water
    250 gms canned artichoke hearts
    115 gms butter
    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
    2 tbs plain flour
    2 cups milk
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 tsp garlic salt
    2 dashes Tabasco
    Sea salt and pepper to taste
    Good pinch grated nutmeg
    2 egg yolks
    Some finely chopped parsley

    Place the oysters and their juice in a large skillet
    Simmer over low hear until the edges of the oysters begin to curl
    Remove oysters and roughly chop
    Add butter and shallots to juice in pan and simmer for 5 minutes

    Sprinkle the flour into the mixture and cook for about 3-4 minutes
    Add milk slowly, stirring constantly
    As the sauce begins to simmer add artichokes, lemon juice, garlic salt Tabasco Black pepper
    This should all be done over a low heat
    Taste and add salt if necessary
    Add the oysters
    Stir gently and cook for another couple of minutes

    Take 1/2 cup liquid from the pan
    Add to beaten eggs and return to pan
    Sprinkle with nutmeg and a little parsley and Voila"Oysters Louise" is ready

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