When you have eaten as many raw oysters as you can, it is time to enjoy a dinner of fried oysters. Here is an old method that is simple and very good. It produces a thin, crisp shell, and cooks the oyster lightly and to perfection. Fried Oysters cooked like this can be served right out of the pan with a simple garnish of a few lemon and lime slices, or they go well with Tartar style sauces, chile or tomato based sauces, and Hollandaise derivitives. I will suggest a couple after the Fried Oysters recipe.
Shuck your oysters and drain them well. If they are bottled, wash them, then drain them. Put a sheet of newspaper out on your counter. On the left side spread out a handful of flour. On the right side, a handful of dry bread crumbs. Some folk like to mix a bit of cornmeal in with the bread crumbs. Put an egg and about a tablespoon of water in a pie plate and beat them up with a fork. Put this between the flour and the bread crumbs.
Next heat about 1/2 inch of peanut oil in a heavy frying pan. While the oil is heating, with your left hand, pick up an oyster, and roll it around in the flour. When it has a light, even coating of flour, shake it off and drop the oyster into the pie pan with the egg. Do this with three or four more oysters. Then, still with your left hand, turn the oysters over in the pie pan until they are evenly covered with egg. Drop them in the bread crumbs and with your right hand, dribble bread crumbs over them, and pat them into an even coating. If your timing is just right, the oil in the pan is nice and hot, (a cube of bread dropped into the oil sizzles and browns in 30 seconds or so.), and you can gently place the prepared oysters in the oil. By the time you have the next batch of oysters ready to come out of the pie pan, the Fried Oysters in the oil should be browning nicely around the edges, and ready to turn, again with your right hand wielding the tool. (By now your left hand will be well breaded.) When the batch of oysters in the pie pan has been coated with bread crumbs, the first batch of oysters should be about ready to come out. Put them on a paper towel to drain for a couple seconds. By the time you have been able to put them on someone's plate, the oil is probably up to heat again, and it is time to add the freshly breaded oysters, and get ready to prepare the next batch. Replenish the egg, flour and bread crumbs as needed. If you have a lot of oysters, and want to feed a lot of people, get a couple helpers and this can be made into a very efficient prep line.
Fried Oysters are probably best with a light sprinkle of parsely and a fresh squeeze of lemon, but also go nicely with sauces like Tarter Sauce, or for a serious south of the border burn, Ranchero Sauce also goes very well with Fried Oysters.
For a bit more delicate turn, and especially good if you can find fresh asparagus to go with your Fried Oysters, do try Bearnaise Sauce. Another possibility might be a sprinkle of cheese on the Fried Oysters and a quick trip under the broiler. This is a great place for an imagination......
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