Holiday Recipes Inspired by the Sea

OYSTER STUFFING

If you live in a state where you have access to great oysters, give this New-England style stuffing recipe a whirl. Friends and family will be impressed, and you just might find yourself with a new favorite tradition.

Recipe by Helen Rosner for Saveur

SERVES 8-10
Ingredients
11 cups 1⁄2-inch-cubed white French bread (about 14 oz.)
6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1⁄4-inch strips
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
6 shallots, thinly sliced
4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
40 medium oysters, such as bluepoints, shucked (about 1 lb.), with 1 cup of the liquor reserved
1 cup chicken stock
1⁄4 cup madeira or port
1⁄3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tbsp. chopped thyme leaves
2 tbsp. chopped sage leaves
1⁄2 tsp. Tabasco
1⁄4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
Heat oven to 250˚. Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring occasionally, until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Put bacon into a 12-inch skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp and its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes. Add 4 tbsp. of the butter and heat. Add shallots and celery, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add oyster liquor, stock, madeira or port, parsley, thyme, sage, Tabasco, nutmeg, cloves, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and stir in the bread cubes and oysters. Set aside to allow the flavors to come together for 10 minutes.

Raise the oven temperature to 400˚. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. oval baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, drizzle with remaining butter, and continue baking until golden brown and crusty, about 15 minutes more. Serve immediately.

 

CRAB IMPERIAL

Open Angler staffer Caroline Enten hails from Maryland, home of crabcakes and football. The following recipe for Crab Imperial became a holiday staple when various guests’ dietary restrictions forced the usual suspects from the menu. Great for pescatarians or anyone who doesn’t eat meat, this delicate and sophisticated dish is a real show stopper.

Ingredients

1 pound Maryland crabmeat (preferably backfin)

1 tablespoon margarine or butter

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon instant minced onion

1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 slices white bread, cubed (crusts removed)

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice (½ lemon)

½ teaspoon salt

Few dashes pepper

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Paprika, for sprinkling

Instructions

Remove all cartilage from crabmeat. In medium-size pan, melt margarine or butter, mix in flou. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, to keep mixture smooth and free from lumps. Cook, stirring over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Mix in onion, Worcestershire sauce and bread cubes. Cool

 

Fold in mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper. In another pan, heat margarine or butter until lightly browned. Add crabmeat and toss lightly. Combine with sauce mixture.

 

Put mixture into individual shells or ramekins (or greased 1-quart casserole dish). Sprinkle paprika over top. Bake at 450 degrees F. until hot and bubbly and lightly browned on top, 10 to 15 minutes.

    Makes 4 servings.