By Betha Merit
Appetizers are multifold fun. They get the party started by whetting your appetite and teasing your tastebuds. And they can also be served as a meal in tandem with another small plate of food or two. Another idea is to plan a small gathering and have everyone bring their favorite hors d’oeuvres with a paired wine. For the following oyster recipes we suggest pairing with bubbles, from Champagne to sparkling rosé. And any crisp white wine such as Chablis or Sancerre will also pair nicely. Enjoy.
Crispy Oven-Baked Oysters
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 pint shucked oysters
Use three shallow bowls. In the first bowl combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. In another bowl whisk eggs. In the third bowl combine bread crumbs, cheese, parsley and garlic salt.
Coat oysters with flour mixture, then dip in eggs, and coat with crumb mixture. Place in greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan; drizzle with oil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with jalapeño ranch dressing for dipping.
Savory Bacon Wrapped Oysters
- 12 ounces bacon strips cut in half
- 1 pint shucked oysters
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar (or white)
- 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Cook bacon in skillet style pan on medium-high heat until shrunken, but not crisp. Lay on paper towels to drain. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic and dry mustard. Wrap each oyster with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place in the baking dish with sauce and bake for 15 minutes or longer. Oysters are done when the sauce bubbles and the bacon is crispy around the edges.
The Chablis region is the northernmost wine district of the Burgundy region in France. The cool climate of this region produces wines with more acidity and flavors less fruity than Chardonnay. These wines often have a flinty or steely note.
Sancerre is located in the eastern part of the Loire valley, southeast of Orléans in France. Sancerre blanc is usually bone dry and highly aromatic with intense flavors of peaches and gooseberries.
Tony Chachere’s Easy Gumbo
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 10 cups cool water
- 1 cup Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix
- 1 lb. shrimp and 1 lb. crab meat
- Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning
In a stockpot coated in pan spray, sauté vegetables until soft. In the same pot, add Tony’s Roux, 2 cups of water, 1 cup Tony Chachere’s Instant Roux Mix
Bring to a boil. After mixture begins to thicken, reduce heat to low and stir for 3 minutes. Add remaining water. For seafood gumbo, bring roux mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and crab meat and return to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Add remaining water. Season gumbo to taste with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning. Ladle gumbo over steamed rice and garnish with chopped green onions and Tony Chachere’s Gumbo Filé.
Opelousas Oyster Loaf
- 1 Loaf French Bread, unsliced
- 1 Dozen select large oysters
- 1 Egg
- Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- 1/2 Cup light cream
- 1 Cup bread crumbs
- 1 Cup oil
- Dill pickles (sliced)
- Lemon (wedges)
Cut off top of the French Bread lengthwise and reserve. Scoop out insides and toast the loaf. Butter inside generously and keep warm. Dry oysters on absorbent paper.
In a bowl, beat egg with Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, slowly adding cream. Place oysters in egg mixture, then in bread crumbs, thoroughly covering all sides. Fry in shallow oil until brown and drain on absorbent paper.
Fill the hollow of French Bread with the fried oysters. Garnish with sliced dill pickles, lemon wedges and dabs of ketchup. Replace top, heat in oven and serve. Yields 4 servings.