Type: MAIN-DISH OR BUFFET CASSEROLE
Suitable for: Oysters, chunks of cooked Lobster tail, Crab or Giant Prawn meat.
Early in the 20th century, Americans living inland from the coasts ate oysters as a Christmas treat. Middle-Western grocers ordered oysters, shipped by rail in ice-filled wooden barrels, only when winter weather kept the mollusks safely chilled until they could be served. (An elderly Iowa native still recalls the holiday when she and her sister spirited the once-a-year dish of scalloped oysters off the dinner table and ate it all!)
The delicate and unique taste of oysters still confirms the wisdom of simple recipes and a light hand with seasonings—although you no longer have to wait until Christmas to enjoy them.
1 ½ – 2 quart casserole dish
2 pints shucked oysters and their liquid
½ stick butter (4 Tbsp.)
2 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed to make coarse crumbs
½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Coat bottom and sides of casserole with 1 Tbsp. butter. Cover bottom of dish with cracker-crumbs. Add a layer of oysters, one of crumbs, one of oysters, ending with crumbs. Sprinkle evenly with oyster liquid, salt and cayenne. Dot with remaining 3 Tbsp. butter, dust with paprika.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover casserole loosely with foil, bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake an additional 10-15 minutes till oysters are just done