As tar balls wash ashore on the beaches south of Mobile Bay, local oystermen are doing their best to harvest what they can. You see, the oyster beds are just now recovering from a darter snail invasion last year that wipe out many of our local oysters. Now with the threat of oil moving in, well, the beds may not have a chance.
That's why folks like myself just can't seem to get enough seafood lately. You know that feeling as if it will not be around any more or only for a few weeks if we are lucky.
The stores are selling seafood like crazy and the restaurants have raised prices mainly from the shortage of local product. Many shrimp and fishing vessels have limited access to the waters to harvest seafood, if they can go out at all.
So for now, we are enjoying fresh caught local seafood in recipes like this one, a wonderfully delicious appetizer that captures the essence of bay oysters and savory summer seasonings. Enjoy!
Oysters Beau Monde
2 quarts small oysters
1/4 cup sweet white wine
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons Beau Monde
2 teaspoons summer savory
2 teaspoons marjoram
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated onion
1/4 cup Worcesterhire
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Patty shells (pastry shells)
Drain oysters reserving the liquid. In a large wide skillet, add wine and oysters over low heat. Cook slowly until edges begin to curl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Slowly stir constantly until medium brown. Add onion, parsley and seasonings mixing well. Pour oysters into the mixture and add enough oyster liquid until mixture reaches consistency of heavy cream.
Keep warm in top of a double boiler until ready to serve. Serve in chafing dish with patty shells.
Note: Beau Monde is a specialty seasoning consisting of celery, salt and garlic. I prefer Spice Island brand.