Having strained the liquor from twenty-five oysters of the largest size, mince them small; omitting the hard part or gristle. If you cannot get large oysters, you should have forty or fifty small ones. Break into a shallow pan six, seven, or eight eggs, according to the quantity of minced oysters. Omit half the whites, and, (having beaten the eggs till very light, thick, and smooth,) mix the oysters gradually into them, adding a little cayenne pepper, and some powdered nutmeg. Put three ounces or more of the best fresh butter into a small frying-pan, if you have no pan especially for omelets. Place it over a clear fire, and when the butter (which should be previously cut up) has come to a boil, put in the omelet-mixture; stir it till it begin to set; and fry it a light brown, lifting the edge several times by slipping a knife under it, and taking care not to cook it too much or it will shrivel and become tough. When done, clap a large hot plate or dish on the top of the omelet, and turn it quickly and carefully out of the pan. Fold it over; and serve it up immediately. It is a fine breakfast dish. This quantity will make one large or two small omelets.
Clam omelets may be made as above.
An omelet-pan should be smaller than a common frying-pan, and lined with tin. In a large pan the omelet will spread too much, and become thin like a pancake.
Never turn an omelet while frying, as that will make it heavy and tough. When done, brown it by holding a red-hot shovel or salamander close above the top.
Excellent omelets may be made of cold boiled ham, or smoked tongue; grated or minced small, mixed with a sufficiency of beaten eggs, and fried in butter.
Cut four slices of bread and toast them; having first pared off the crust. Butter the toast on both sides. Wash, scrape, and chop ten anchovies and put them thickly between the slices of toast. Beat the yolks of four eggs, and then mix them with half a pint of cream. Put the mixture into a sauce-pan, and set it over the fire to simmer till thick; but do not allow it to boil. Stir it well, lest it should curdle. When it is near boiling, take it off, and pour it hot over the toast.
Tongue toast may be made in this way.
Oyster Toast may be made as above; substituting minced oysters for the anchovy; seasoning them with cayenne; and boiling a few blades of mace with the egg and cream.
Take the largest and finest oysters. See that your gridiron is very clean. Rub the bars with fresh butter, and set it over a clear steady fire, entirely clear from smoke; or on a bed of bright hot wood coals. Place the oysters on the gridiron, and when done on one side, take a fork and turn them on the other; being careful not to let them burn. Put some fresh butter in the bottom of a dish. Lay the oysters on it, and season them slightly with pepper. Send them to table hot.
Having buttered the inside of a deep dish, line it with puff-paste rolled out rather thick, and prepare another sheet of paste for the lid. Put a clean towel into the dish (folded so as to support the lid) and then put on the lid; set it into the oven, and bake the paste well. When done, remove the lid, and take out the folded towel. While the paste is baking, prepare the oysters. Having picked off carefully any bits of shell that may be found about them, lay them in a seive and drain off the liquor into a pan. Put the oysters into a skillet or stew-pan, with barely enough of the liquor to keep them from burning. Season them with whole pepper; blades of mace; some grated nutmeg; and some grated lemon-peel, (the yellow rind only,) and a little finely minced celery. Then add a large portion of fresh butter, divided into bits, and very slightly dredged with flour. Let the oysters simmer over the fire, but do not allow them to come to a boil, as that will shrivel them. Next beat the yolks only, of three, four, or five eggs, (in proportion to the size of the pie,) and stir the beaten egg into the stew a few minutes before you take it from the fire. Keep it warm till the paste is baked. Then carefully remove the lid of the pie; and replace it, after you have filled the dish with the oysters and gravy.
The lid of the pie may be ornamented with a wreath of leaves cut out of paste, and put on before baking. In the centre, place a paste-knot or flower.
Oyster pies are generally eaten warm; but they are very good cold.