Monday, April 26, 2010

For the Walrus in Us

Every time I was perambulating through Grand Central Station and had a few extra minutes and a good appetite, I used to stop at the Oyster Bar and have their famous Oyster Pan Roast. They had numerous steam-heated copper pans at the bar itself which, it seemed, were dedicated to this concoction. There is a recipe for this dish in the old New York Times Cookbook which I have pretty much memorized to use when I find a pint or more of good, plump, shucked oysters for sale. All these figures are approximate so experiment yourself until you come up with your ideal proportions.

Assemble some (2 or 3) toasted French bread rounds in the bottom of two wide soup bowls. Now, get a good heavy enameled medium-sized but high-sided pan and heat it up well over a high flame. Next melt a good quarter of a stick of butter in the pan. Squeeze about a half a fresh lemon through your fingers into the butter. Then add the oysters, liquor and all. Give this mixture about 5 squirts of Worcestershire sauce (don’t skimp, use Lea and Perrins). Add about a half bottle of Heinz chili sauce and about 1/2 a teaspoon of celery seeds. Top this off with about a cup of heavy cream (OK, half and half if you are dieting). Stir well and heat until some large bubbles appear on top. Immediately ladle into the soup bowls and sprinkle with good quality paprika. The parsley leaf shown would be fluff.

You will not be hungry again for at least a day ... but you will talk of many things.

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