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How to cook oysters

Cooking oysters - from the 1881 Household Cyclopedia

Table of contents
1 To Stew Oysters
2 Stewed Oysters
3 Oysters Roasted
4 Another Mode
5 Scalloped Oysters
6 Fried Oysters
7 Panned Oysters
8 To Pickle Oysters
9 To Spice Oysters

To Stew Oysters

Put your oysters with all their liquor into a saucepan; no water, to every dozen add a lump of butter size of a walnut, salt, black pepper, a blade of mace, two bay leaves; bubble for five minutes, add a little cream, shake all well together, and turn them out, grating a little nutmeg on each oyster as it lies in the sauce.

Stewed Oysters

One hundred oysters, 1/2 a pint of cream, 2 ounces of butter, beat the butter smooth with a little flour. Put the oysters in a pas over the fire; when they become hot, stir in the cream, butter, and flour. Season to your taste with salt, mace, and pepper. They should be served as soon as they are taken off the fire.

Oysters Roasted

Roast your oysters over a quick fire till they are done dry, but not scorched; turn them out on the plate of a brazier, without any of their liquor; add a large lump of butter. Set the plate over the lamp when the butter is melted, add a gill of Madeira, a little salt and Cayenne.

Another Mode

Put the oysters alive in the shell upon a good fire and leave them till their shells open a little; then take them off, open them on a plate, and season with salt and pepper only. Thus they are excellent for delicate stomachs.

Scalloped Oysters

One hundred oysters, a baker's loaf crumbed, four eggs boiled hard; salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Chop the eggs very fine and mix with the crumbs, which season highly with cayenne and salt. Cover the bottom of a deep pie-dish with the eggs and crumbs; then with a fork, place layer of oysters with two or three small pieces of butter, and so continue until all are in, reserving sufficient crumbs for the cover For those who like it, a little mace may be added. Bake in a quick oven three-quarters of an hour. Serve hot.

Fried Oysters

Take fine large oysters, free them from all the small particles of shell, then place them on a clean towel and dry them. Have ready some crackers made very fine, which season with a little salt, black and cayenne pepper of equal proportions.

Beat as many eggs and cream mixed, as will moisten all the oysters required, then with a fork dip each one in the egg and lay them on the cracker, and with the back of a spoon pat the cracker close to the oyster; lay them an a dish, and so continue until are done. Put in a frying-pan an equal portion of butter and lard or sweet oil boiling hot, then put in as many oysters as the pan will hold without allowing them to touch, and fry quickly a light brown on both sides. A few minutes will cook them. Send to table hot.

Panned Oysters

Take fifty large oysters, remove every particle of shell which may adhere to them, put them in to a colander and pour over a little water to rinse them. After letting them drain, put them into a stewpan with a quarter of a pound of butter, salt' black and red pepper to taste. Put them over a clear fire, and stir while cooking. As soon as they commence to shrink remove them from the fire, and send to table hot in a well (covered) heated dish.

To Pickle Oysters

Drain off the liquor from one hundred oysters, wash them and put to them a table-spoonful of salt and a tea-cup of vinegar; let them simmer over the fire about ten minutes, taking off the scum as it rises; then take out the oysters and put to their own liquor a tablespoonful of whole black pepper and a teaspoonful of mace and cloves; let it boil five minutes, skim and pour it over the oysters in a jar.

To Spice Oysters

One hundred oysters, one dozen cloves, two dozen allspice, mace, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste.

Strain the liquor through a sieve, put it in a saucepan, and add the oysters, spice, pepper, salt, and half a pint of cider vinegar. Place them over a slow fire, and as soon as they boil take them off. Pour them into a large bowl and set them away to cool. When cold cover them close.

See also: Wikipedia Cookbook