(by Peggy Lampman)
1 lb. (1 1/2 - 2 c.) small to medium-sized shucked oysters with their liquor
1 stick (1/4 lb.) unsalted butter
6 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced into thin rounds
2 T. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. half-and-half
Drain the oysters with a fine mesh strainer, reserving their liquor.
In a large pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.
Add the chopped scallions and sauté until limp, about 5 minutes.
Make a roux by stirring and whisking the flour into the butter.
Let the roux cook, while stirring, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to a very slow simmer, and add the milk, half-and-half and oyster liquor.
Do not let the broth boil or it will break.*
Let simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring and whisking often. (This is very important as your stew could break if not attended to.)
Season to taste with Worcestershire, Tabasco, and kosher salt.
Add oysters to the stew, and when the edges begin to curl (3 - 8 minutes, depending on the size of the oyster), remove from heat and serve.
*I use a rack above the flame of my stove to insure the lowest simmer possible. You may prefer cooking your stew in a double boiler to insure the heat is kept at a minimum.
Note: Oyster stew is delicious paired with a fried sausage patty stuffed into a freshly baked biscuit.
(Read Tasting Ancestry, the story that accompanies this recipe.)