This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
" If oysters are to be cooked, a homely excellent way is to lay the shells on the gridiron, and as soon as they open put into each a bit of butter and a dust of cayenne. The French open the shells first, put over the oyster in the deep shell a little maitre d'hotel sauce, then lay it on the gridiron, and serve the moment the liquor boils. Americans are as original in oyster stews as in everything else. Almost every family has its own recipe, to which it adheres with an unshakable loyalty".
Oysters fried in oil were introduced by the late noted Philadelphia restaurateur Minico Finelli, an Italian by birth. People who visited Philadelphia always made it a point to go to his restaurant to enjoy this specialty. They were delicious and delicate, beautifully brown, and without a suspicion of grease.
Hot oyster liquor prepared first by boiling, skimming, adding butter, salt, cayenne. Large oysters laid side by side in agreasedjdouble-wire broiler, broiled on both sides over very hot fire, then thrown into the oyster liquor. Served with toast aside.
Oysters washed in cold water and drained; thrown dry into a hot frying pan and shaken about till they boil: butter, salt, and pepper added. Served in hot dish.
Take the largest oysters obtainable; brush the wire oyster-broiler with softened butter, lay in the oysters and broil over a hot fire 2 or 3 minutes, basting once on each side with the butter brush. Dish side by side on one long slice of buttered toast in a dish. Garnish with lemon and parsley. Scalloped Oysters "At a prominent restaurant the other day we asked for some scalloped oysters. Fancy our disappointment to have served to us a sort of fricassee of oysters. To be sure, it was served in a beautiful silver dish like a scallop shell, and it wasn't a bad kind of a dish, but it wasn't old-fashioned scalloped oysters, so easily made and so toothsome to the palate. If they had made them after this rule I know they would have been good: Roll fine 1 lb. of soda crackers; put a thin layer of this in the bottom of a baking-dish; wet the cracker with the liquor of the oyster. If you are not using shell oysters, wash the oysters first and let them stand in a pint of clear, fresh water for half an hour, then use this and milk for the wetting. In the layer of crumbs place a layer of oysters, well seasoned with salt, pepper, and small bits of butter. On this another layer of bread-crumbs, wet again with the milk and liquor. Then again a layer of oysters, seasoned as before.
Repeat this until the oysters are all used. A layer of crumbs should be the last as well as the first, and should be thickly sprinkled with bits of butter. Just before putting in the oven pour over nearly a cup of milk. Bake to a light, crisp brown, and serve instantly".