Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fish Friday... or is it?!

If you are reading this on Thursday you may be saying to yourself: "Hey there Lobsters on the Fly, it's Thursday. Don't get me all excited thinking that it's Friday and that I am going to head on over to Happy Hour when I get out of work today."  Well folks, I'm busy tomorrow and rather than disappoint everyone and not post at all on Friday- I thought I would post early.  So that we are all on the same page, it is Thursday, not Friday, but this post has Friday in the title.

I will be at the Common Ground Fair tomorrow!  From 1:00-2:00 I will be in the Rail Car Speakers Tent:
Join Amanda LaBelle and Annie Brown of the Island Institute, Sam Grimley of Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Monique Coombs of Lobsters on the Fly for an informative discussion about some of Maine's best (and underutilized) seafoods. We will discuss the biology, fishing regulations, history and provide recipes (by Cafe Miranda's Chef Kerry!) for each species. (Maine shrimp, oysters, monkfish and pollock are on the docket.)
And to make it official there was even an event created on Facebook!

I'm quite familiar with and have even cooked with pollock, monkfish, and shrimp.  I've eaten my fair share of oysters, including an amazing oyster dish at Cinque Terre (Winterpoint Oysters served raw with Pomegranate mignonette or crispy with black currant agrodolce) but my actual knowledge of oysters is limited.  They are amazing and there are quite a few different kinds of them- and I have been learning all about them this week in preparation for tomorrow.

So, Cinque Terre offers an amazing oyster dish, I'm talking about oysters tomorrow at the Common Ground Fair, and it's the Pemaquid Oyster Festival on Sunday.  Hooray, it's an amazing oyster trifecta!

And on that note, our recipe that includes oysters.  It's a Chuck Hughes recipe that may blow your mind and I know I use his recipes a lot but I find his recipes accessible and full of seafood.  Like this one for example, his famous Turducken.  Not only is it a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey, but that chicken is full of stuffing that contains.... OYSTERS (gasps, ooohhhs, aaaahhs)!

Chuck Hughes' Legendary Turducken stuffing w/ oysters
You can find the recipe on the Cooking Channel site.  Funny story.  Remember how I said I thought Chuck's recipes were accessible?  Well, this one sounds complicated even to me.  But, hey, there are oysters in the stuffing.  

So, here's another, more accessible oyster stuffing recipe minus the turducken from Epicurious.  Enjoy!

  • 2 loaves Italian or French bread (1 lb total), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (12 cups)
  • 1/2 lb sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (if needed)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 18 oysters, shucked, drained, and chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 2 1/4 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spread bread cubes in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden, 25 to 30 minutes total. Cool bread in pans on racks, then transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.
If bacon renders less than 1/4 cup fat, add enough oil to skillet to total 1/4 cup fat. Cook onions, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper in fat in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with bread cubes, then stir in bacon, parsley, butter, and oysters. Drizzle with stock, then season with salt and pepper and toss well.
Transfer stuffing to a buttered 3- to 3 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, in middle of oven 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until browned, about 30 minutes more.
Cooks' note: Stuffing can be assembled (without oysters and not baked) 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature and stir in oysters before baking.

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