Oyster Stew

3 tblspn. butter or margarine
3 large shallots or 1 small onion finely chopped
1 cup diced celery
1 bay leaf
Finely shredded peel of 1 large lemon
1-1/2 qts. half and half (6 cups)
¾ tspn. Salt
½ tspn. paprika
1/8 tspn. red (cayenne) pepper
24 to 36 shucked oysters with liquor
2 tblspn. butter or margarine

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a large kettle. Add shallots or onion and celery. Over medium heat, sauté until soft. Add bay leaf and lemon peel; sauté 1 min longer. Add half and half, slat, paprika, red pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Head until very hot; do not boil. If oysters are large, cut in half. Add oysters and liquor to kettle. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until edges of oysters start to curl and become firm. Do not overcook. Taste and adjust seasonings. Divide oysters among 6 serving bowls. Ladle in broth. Cut 2 tablespoons butter or margarine into 6 parts float 1 pat in each bowl. Garnish with paprika. Makes 6 servings.

Oyster Rockefeller

24 oysters on-the-half-shell
Rock salt
½ cup butter or margarine
4 medium shallots, chopped
¼ cup chopped fenel sprigs or ¼ to ½ tspn. dried leaf tarragon
¼ cup shopped parsley
2 cups watercress or tora spinach leaves
2 to 4 tblspns. pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
Freshly ground pepper

Have fish retailer prepare oysters on-the-half-shell or, working over a bowl to catch liquor, open oysters. Reserve ay oyster liquor; strain through several layers of cheesecloth to remove bits of shell or debris. Preheat over to 450F (230C). Spread rock salf to a depth of ½ inch in a shallow backing pan large enough to hold oyster chells in a single layer. Place pan in over. In a large skillet, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add shallots, fennel or tarragon and parsley; sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Add watercress or spinach; cook until limp. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add liqueur and 1 tablespoon reserved oyster liquor. Process until smoothl season with salt and pepper for tate. Cool slightly. Spoon mixture over each oyster, spreading to cover. Remove baking pan from oven; nestle oyster shells in hot salt. Return backing pan to oven. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings.