Smothered Oysters

Put one tablespoonful of butter in a covered saucepan with half a saltspoonful of white pepper, one teaspoonful of salt, and a few grains of cayenne pepper. When hot, add one pint of oysters carefully prepared. Cover closely, and shake the pan to keep the oysters from sticking; cook two or three minutes, or till plump. Serve on toasted crackers.

Creamed Oysters

Make one cup of thick cream sauce (see page 190), and season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and celery salt. Wash and pick over one pint of oysters, and parboil until plump. Skim carefully; drain and add them to the sauce. Serve on toast, and garnish the dish with points of toast; or the toast may be omitted, and bread crumbs browned in butter sprinkled over the oysters. When served in patty shells or in a vol-au-vent, make the cream sauce thicker.

Fricasseed Oysters

Cook one pint of oysters in hot butter, till plump, as directed for smothered oysters. Drain, and keep the oysters hot, and add enough cream to the oyster liquor to make one cupful. Cook one tablespoonful of flour in one tablespoonful of hot butter. Add slowly the hot cream and oyster liquor. Season with one teaspoonful of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into one well-beaten egg, add the hot oysters, and heat one minute. Serve on toast, if for breakfast; or in paper cases, or patties, if for lunch or dinner.

Scalloped Oysters

One pint of solid oysters, washed and drained; one third of a cup of melted butter; one cup of cracker or stale bread crumbs, moistened in the melted butter. Butter a shallow dish; put in a layer of crumbs then a layer of oysters; season with salt and pepper; and, if you like, add Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, wine, or mace. Then put in another layer of crumbs, then oysters and seasoning, with a thick layer of crumbs on the top. Bake in a hot oven about twenty minutes, until the crumbs are brown. Many prefer to heat the oyster liquor and the butter with an equal quantity of milk or cream, and use more cracker. Moisten each layer of cracker with the hot liquid. Reserve the larger part of the butter for the top layer of crumbs. In this way a larger dish may be prepared with the same quantity of oysters.

Oysters En Coquille

Prepare as for scalloped oysters. Put one or two very large or several smaller oysters in oyster or scallop shells; season, and cover with buttered crumbs. Bake till the crumbs are brown. Place the shells on small plates, and serve one to each person.

Large scallop shells may be obtained at the fish market, then cleaned and used several times. Tin, granite, or silver shells may also be used.

Oysters And Mushrooms In Crusts

Bake Parker-House-roll dough in round pans, or as small round biscuit placed some distance apart. When cold, cut a slice from the top of each, and remove the soft inside without breaking through the crust. Fill with the following mixture: -

Parboil half a pint of oysters. Strain, and save the liquor. Cut the oysters fine, and mix with them half a can of chopped mushrooms. Mix the oyster liquor and mushroom juice with enough cream to make one pint in all. Pour this hot liquid slowly on one tablespoonful of butter and three of flour cooked together. Season highly with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and cayenne. Pour this into the crusts, and serve at once. This dish is acceptable to those who cannot eat oysters in puff-paste patties.

Pigs In Blankets, Or Huitres Au Lit

Season large oysters with salt and pepper. Cut very thin slices of fat bacon; wrap each oyster in a slice of bacon, and fasten with a wooden skewer. Put in a hot omelet pan, and cook just long enough to crisp the bacon. Serve on small pieces of delicate toast.

Fried Oysters

Wash the oysters, drain, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let them stand twenty minutes. Roll first in seasoned crumbs, then dip in beaten egg mixed with one tablespoonful of milk; roll in crumbs again, and fry one minute in smoking hot lard. Drain on paper, and garnish with chopped or sliced pickle, or chowchow. Serve with cold slaw or celery salad.

Fried oysters are much better, and spatter less in frying, if parboiled slightly and drained before rolling in the crumbs. When only a few are wanted, and those especially nice, select the large oysters, roll them in fine crumbs, then in Mayonnaise dressing, then in crumbs again, and fry.

Sauted Oysters

Prepare as for frying, and brown on each side in hot butter; or roll in the cracker only, and brown them.

Oysters in Fritter Batter, see page 107.

Broiled Oysters

Pick over, and drain large oysters. Dip in melted butter, then in fine cracker crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Butter a fine wire gridiron; put the oysters in closely, and broil till the juice flows. Some prefer to broil them without the crumbs, but more juice is lost in this way.

Pickled Oysters

Cook one quart of oysters in their liquor, till plump. Remove the oysters, and add to the liquor half a cup of good cider vinegar. Skim as it boils, and add one teaspoonful of salt, two blades of mace, ten cloves, ten peppercorns, ten allspice berries, and a few grains of cayenne pepper. Boil five minutes. Pour the liquor over the oysters, and when cold seal in glass jars, and put in a cool dark place. They will keep two weeks.