Scalloped Oysters were an icon at my childhood Thanksgivings. I did not have an appreciation for them as a child but would always ‘be helped’ with a small portion of the crackers that surrounded the oysters. It must have been a great way to learn to like the complete dish because it is not Thanksgiving without these on the table. Growing up, they were only served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I now love to make them in individual ramekins and serve with a salad for a Sunday night supper in the winter time.
I think these Scalloped Oysters were my father’s favorite Thanksgiving dish. He was always in the kitchen supervising this one dish…mainly the addition of the freshly ground black pepper. At the end of his life when he wasn’t wanting to eat, I asked him what I could make for him. His immediate answer was ‘Scalloped Oysters’. Memories……..
THINKING THANKSGIVING - Scalloped Oysters
- 1 PINT (16 OZ) FRESH OYSTERS with liquor
- 8-10 OUNCES SALTINE CRACKERS (2 sleeves Zesta)
- FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 1/2 CUP BUTTER
- 3 1/2 cups (approx) HALF & HALF
- Heavily butter a 2-quart gratin or flat casserole ovenproof dish. Scatter very very coarsely broken (with your hands) crackers in the bottom of the dish. Top with a few oysters. Add more broken crackers and a few pieces of butter. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Repeat layering of oysters and crackers two more times, ending with broken crackers.
- Pour around remaining oyster liquor. Dot with butter. Add half and half just to top of crackers. Season again with a few grinds of pepper. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve IMMEDIATELY.
- Some seafood markets offer their fresh oysters from a bucket....buy a pound and ask for extra liquor. Just be sure they are FRESH!
- You can layer the oysters and crackers early in the day. Add half and half just before baking.
- Everyone should be at the table and ready to be served when you bring the oysters out of the oven. They are like a soufflé and begin to fall almost immediately, but still delicious.
- Have discovered 365 Saltines (Whole Foods brand). They are more like the 'old' Zestas...a bit more salt. They work great for this dish