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Gratin d'HuƮtres d'Ostende

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 October 2011 at 12:34
This one from Belgium looks like it has some really good things going on. Not having access to fresh oysters and shrimp, this is one that I most likely will not try - having said that, it sure looks good, and if anyone here wants to try it, I bet it would make a geat project!
From Time-Life's Foods of the World - A Quintet of Cuisines (1970):
Quote Gratin d'HuƮtres d'Ostende
Creamed Oysters and Shrimp in Shells
To serve 4:
1/2 pound medium-sized raw shrimp (16-20 per pound)
6 tablespoons butter
2 dozen fresh oysters, shucked, with the deeper half-shell of each oyster and all the oyster liquor reserved
1/2 to 1 cup milk
2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Rock salt or coarse salt (optional; see note below)
1/4 cup soft, fresh crumbs made from homemade-type white bread, pulverised in a blender or finely shredded with a fork
1/2 cup freshly-grated imported GruyĆØre or Emmentaler cheese
NOTE: The bed of salt is not indispensable to the success of this dish. You may, if you like, bake the oysters in any shallow baking dish large enough to hold the shells snugly in one layer.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Shell the shrimp. Devein them by making a shallow incision down their backs with a small, sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of the knife. Wash the shrimp under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels, then chop them coarsely. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet When the foam begins to subside, drop in the shrimp and, stirring constantly, coook over moderate heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until they begin to turn pink. Set aside off the heat.
Pour the oyster liquor into a large measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 and 3/4 cups. Stir in the wine. In a heavy 8- to 10-inch skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat, but do not let it brown. Then stir in the flour and mix together thoroughly. Pour in the milk, oyster liquor and wine mixture and, stirring constantly with a whisk, cook over high heat until the sauce boils and thickens lightly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Then beat the egg yolk lightly in a bowl, add about 1/4 cup of the sauce, and whisk the egg-yolk mixture into the sauce in the pan. Ass the pepper and salt and taste for seasoning. Remove the pan frm the heat and stir in the reserved shrimp.
Fill a large shallow baking dish to a depth of about 1/4 inch with rock salt or coarse salt. (The salt will not only act as a bed for the oysters but also help keep them hot after they are cooked.) Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the shrimp sauce into each oyster shell, top with an oyster, and blanket the oyster with a second tablespoon of the shrimp sauce. Arrange the filled shells side-by-side in the salt-lined baking dish. Bake in the top third of the oven for about 8 minutes, or until the sauce has barely begun to bubble. Sprinkle the oysters evenly with the bread crumbs and teh cheese. Return them to the oven for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crumbs brown slightly. You may then, if you like, slide them under the broiler (about 3 inches from the heat) for a minute or two to brown the tops further. Serve at once.
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