New Orleans takes its culinary cue from a melting pot of cultures, Italian, French and Creole natives among them, so it’s no surprise that some of their most popular dishes – like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish étouffée and massive muffulettas – reflect an intermingling of ingredients and local spice. Follow up the mélange of hot sauces used freely in kitchens with sugared beignets or Bananas Foster and a taste of the Big Easy will be very sweet indeed!
Our longtime partners at the New Orleans School of Cooking reveal the secrets of Cajun and Creole cuisine to our guests on New Orleans and Mississippi River Country and Life on the Mississippi during a private cooking demonstration followed by lunch. In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, they shared their recipe for Oyster Soup – a perfect appetizer choice at Thanksgiving, or any time.
- 3 doz. oysters and their liquor
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped (reserve some for topping)
- 4 toes garlic, finely chopped
- 2 bunches green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 qt. heavy cream
- 1 qt. half and half
- 1/2 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbl. Joe’s Stuff seasoning, or alternatively use a Cajun spice blend of your choice, or to taste
- Pinch cayenne (optional)
In a soup pot, poach the oysters in their liquor for about 8 minutes or until the oysters begin to plump up. Continuously skim off the scum (I don’t know what else to call it) that rises to the top. Discard it. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove oysters from liquor and set aside. Keep oyster liquor warm.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add all onions and sauté another 2 minutes
Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in the flour to make a smooth blonde roux. Cook 4-5 minutes.
SLOWLY whisk the roux mixture into warm oyster liquor until fully incorporated. Then whisk in cream and half and half.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add oysters and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add parsley and Joe’s Stuff seasoning. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings. If you want a slight kick, add a pinch of cayenne (I always do, but more than a pinch).
Hint: When serving, sprinkle a few finely chopped green onions for garnish.