This week’s Chasing Shadows is a slice of culinary history.
In Nov. 1987, the following recipes were reprinted from the Golden Jubilee Edition of the Apalachicola Times, 1937, celebrating the completion of the Gorrie Bridge. Many are worded in an old-fashioned way and take for granted the cook is experienced enough to need only minimal directions. There are some good ideas here, old enough to seem brand new! By the way measurement referred to as “a gill” is equal to one-half cup.
This week’s Chasing Shadows question is more of a request. Do you have a family recipe created in Franklin County? Shrimp Creole, fish dip, crab salad or Apalachicola spaghetti? If so, share it with the Times so that we can reprint your heirloom as a Christmas present to you neighbors. If you have a recipe to share, please call the Times at 653-8868 or email Lois Swoboda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make it a habit to eat oysters! Rich in calcium, iodine, iron and other elements. General methods of serving oysters raw and cooked:
Sauce for raw oysters
Take one dessertspoon of tarragon vinegar, one tablespoonful olive oil, one-half teaspoon Tabasco sauce. Add a little salt and half an onion grated fine.
Have oysters very cold. Put not more than six in each cocktail glass or sherbet cup and just before sending to the table cover with a dressing made of two teaspoonfuls lemon juice, one teaspoonful Worcestershire sauce, two tablespoonfuls tomato catsup, a dash of Tabasco sauce, a pinch of salt and a little sugar. The proportions given is for each glass.
Take one quart oysters. Put in a saucepan one quart of milk, one pint of water, salt, pepper and mace and one tablespoonful of butter and put on the stove. When it comes to a boil add the oysters and let the whole simmer five minutes. Thicken with cracker crumbs.
Take one quart oysters. Put into saucepan one pint water, salt and pepper and one tablespoonful of rolled cracker crumbs. Let come to a boil and pour in the oysters. Allow the oyster to boil 30 seconds, not an instant more. Remove from fire and pour into a dish containing one half pint of milk. Serve. Never allow the oysters to cook in the milk.
Oysters A La Newburg
Melt a tablespoonful of butter in a chafing dish and stir in one half tablespoonful flour. When these are blended add gradually one cup cream and beat smooth and glossy. Then add one quart oysters previously drained and cut into quarters. When heated through add one teaspoonful salt, one-fourth teaspoonful cayenne, stir well and then add beaten yolks of two eggs. Serve at once in a chafing dish.
Boil half pint in water and drain saving the water. Melt one tablespoonful butter in a saucepan and rub in two tablespoonfuls flour. Pour in oyster water and gill of milk and beat. Season with salt and pepper then beat a little lemon juice and the yolk of an egg together and pour in. Allow the whole to simmer one minute. Pour over oysters, which may be placed on thin slices of toast.
Broiled Oysters on Toast
Broil lightly on the gridiron one pint of oysters. Place them on thin slices of buttered toast and pour over them a sauce made of one gill of cream, one teaspoonful of grated onion, a little lemon juice, a dash of salt and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Serve hot and garnish with parsley.
Broiled Oysters Au Gratin
Mix one scant teaspoonful salt in a shallow dish with two cups cracker crumbs rolled fine. Have one cup melted butter in a shallow basin. Drain one quart oysters, rolling well in a napkin to make as dry as possible. Take each oyster upon a fork (thrust through the muscle) dip into crumbs, then into butter, then into crumbs again. Arrange them on a wire broiler (having two wires quite close together) and broil over bright coal fire or under quick gas flame for about two minutes, turning broiler every five to ten seconds. When oysters are plump and juices run, they are done. Serve instantly.
Old Style Roast
Put one pint oysters in a deep baking dish. Season with salt, cayenne, one teaspoonful of finely chopped onion. Place a thin slice of bacon on each oyster, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over the top and bake. Garnish with parsley and serve with slices of lemon.
Pigs in a Blanket
Drain 12 oysters, wipe dry and lay each oyster across a thin slice of bacon. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley, roll bacon around oyster, securing with a wooden toothpick. Brown slowly in oven and serve very hot.
Oyster A La Ancienne
Drain oysters and put them in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Lay one or two very thinly cut bacon strips across top and bake in a hot oven four minutes.
Angels on Horseback
Use three large oysters to a person, wrap each oyster in a very thin slice of fat bacon, then arrange on steel skewers with about an inch of space between each oyster. Dip in batter and fry in deep fat. Serve hot (still impaled on skewers) on thin triangular slices of buttered toast from which the crusts were removed before toasting.
Batter for above: one cup sifted flour, one egg well beaten, one half-cup milk, pinch of salt and one table spoon of baking powder.
Chop fine one pint of oysters. Put in a saucepan with one teaspoonful of melted butter and one gill of cream. Season with cayenne and salt and one half cupful of rolled cracker crumbs. Put on stove and allow to simmer five minutes, stirring gently. Then put in a baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bits of butter and bake until top is golden brown.
Put one teaspoonful of butter in a covered saucepan, with salt and pepper to taste. When hot add one pint of washed, drained oysters, cover closely and shake pan to keep them from sticking. Cook about three minutes or until plump. Serve on toasted bread or crackers.
Take one pint of large oysters and cover them with rolled cracker crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Let them stand half an hour and then roll again in meal. Fry brown in deep olive oil, lard or butter.
Select the largest oysters rinse quickly and lay on a colander to drain. Dry quickly and gently with a soft cloth, handling as little as possible. Take a steel fork and catch it in the eye of the oyster, dip in egg and then in fine cracker dust, being careful not to use to much cracker dust as it tends to disguise the flavor of the oyster. Use two dozen eggs for a dozen and a half oysters. Beat them; add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of boiling water. Have ready a frying pan not too deep, with plenty of smoking-hot olive oil or sweet lard, to which add a little butter to aid in making the oysters crisp and brown. Put in only enough oysters to cover the bottom without crowding. When brown on one side, turn over.
Take one pint large oysters, dry and dip in a rich mayonnaise dressing. Dip them in cracker crumbs and then again in the dressing, rolling them a second time in the cracker crumbs. Fry brown in deep olive oil, lard or butter. Do not handle the oysters more than you have too and be sure to have the fat very hot.
Take one pint large oysters. Put a large piece of butter into a hot pan and when it smokes drop in the oysters, a few at a time. When the oysters are browned, remove in a hot dish and pour over them a sauce made of melted butter thickened with flour. Season with Worcestershire sauce, salt and cayenne and serve on toast. Garnish with parsley.
Scald one pint oysters in one-half pint of water, drain and save the water. Put two tablespoons of butter into a saucepan and brown with an equal quantity of flour. When brown add the oyster water and one half-cup chopped celery and allow to boil five minutes stirring constantly. As soon as it thickens add the oysters. Season with salt and cayenne. Do not allow the oysters to cook longer than is necessary to heat them.
Put one pint oysters in a saucepan with a cup of water. Put on stove and heat slowly adding one teaspoon of butter, salt and cayenne. Thicken with a little flour and allow to cook six minutes, stirring gently. Have ready light biscuit dough cut into small squares, drop them in and boil until they are cooked through. If preferred, this dish may be baked in the oven with a top crust.
Take one pint of oysters. Line a baking dish with paste and put in it the oysters, together with a small lump of butter and a teaspoon of finely chopped bacon. Season with salt and pepper, put on a top crust and bake three quarters of an hour.
Chop fine one quart oysters. Make one-half pint rich drawn butter seasoned with salt and cayenne. Stir in the oysters and allow to boil for five minutes. Pour into pastry shapes baked in pate pans, put in the oven and cook for two minutes. Serve immediately.
Chop oysters fine. Add two eggs, one cup of milk, two cups flour, salt and pepper to taste. Add one teaspoon baking powder to flour while dry. Beat well and fry like doughnuts.
Drain one pint oysters and boil liquor. Skim and to one cupful (if there is not enough liquor add enough cold water to make one cupful) add one cupful of milk, two well-beaten eggs, one fourth teaspoon salt, one-eighth teaspoonful pepper and enough flour to make a rather stiff batter. Have ready a kettle of smoking hot fat. Take up batter by spoonfuls, taking one oyster in each time and drip carefully into fat. Fry to golden brown and drain upon brown paper laid in a wire basket.
Take one pint of oysters. Dip in cracker crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Take two tablespoonfuls cracker crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Take two tablespoonfuls cracker crumbs and mix with the same quantity of melted butter. Grease a shallow baking dish and fill with cracker crumbs and oysters in alternate layers. Pour in two tablespoonfuls of water and sprinkle bread crumbs and bits of butter over the top. Bake 30 minutes in a hot oven.
Parboil six potatoes, slice. Butter baking dish, put layer of cracker crumbs on the bottom, then add layer of potatoes and layer of oysters, season with salt, pepper, parsley and bits of butter; then add another layer of cracker crumbs, potatoes, oysters and so on, until dish is full, the top layer to be crumbs. Moisten well with milk and bake 30 minutes.