One of the dearest and most vivid memories I have of my father, and generally my childhood is sitting by the bay, slurping fresh oysters, right from the shelves. I remember everything like it was yesterday. 🙂
The scent of the sea, juicy, buttery taste of new food in my mouth, warm sun and dad smiling as I tried to eat my first oyster. Over the years, this became a tradition – just the two of us, eating oysters at the beach during the summer holiday.
Our seaside tradition continued even when I grew up and had kids, the only difference was the fact that we had the company of my children, and I had an opportunity to teach someone how to slurp fresh oysters, just like my father taught me.
Years passed, and we had fewer chances to go on such trips together. However, we did our best not to break the tradition.
How To Cook Canned Oysters
Since fresh oysters are not available in the town we live in, we had to use canned ones instead.
My boys didn’t mind, as they’re big fans of canned seafood. So, I incorporated canned oysters in some interesting recipes, and I have to admit, the taste was completely different, but at the end, it wasn’t really about their freshness, but about spending time with your family.
So, I decided to present you the three of my favorite ways to cook canned oysters – stew, soufflé and stuffing casserole. I hope you will use these recipes to bring your family closer and enjoy some delicious food at the same time!
Canned Oysters Contain More Nutrients
Still, they are most commonly used as an ingredient in various recipes, cooked, baked, fried, whichever you prefer.
Unfortunately, canned oysters are higher in calories and fat than raw ones and contain less calcium. However, canned oysters are richer in iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium which can be beneficial to your health.
They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which cannot be found in raw oysters. This is due to the acid addition during the canning process.
If you want to increase your vitamin B intake, you should know that canned oysters are richer in all of the B vitamins, and A vitamin as well. If you don’t drain them, they will have the same level of vitamin E as the raw ones.
At last, you should be aware that both raw and canned oysters are high in sodium and if you have a history of high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases, you should stay away from them.
One cup of raw oysters has 211 milligrams of sodium, while one cup of undrained canned oysters has 278 milligrams. However, the same quantity of drained canned oysters has only 181 milligrams of sodium, but at the same time, the drained portion contains significantly fewer vitamins and minerals.
There is another meaningful advantage to canned oysters – they are practical!
You can store them unopened for up to one year, since the day of purchase, but you have to make sure to check the expiration day. On the other hand, once you open them, you will have to refrigerate them and use them within two days.
The same goes for all dishes that contain canned oysters.
Magnificent Canned Oyster Recipes
1. Oyster Stew
Oyster stew is the most straightforward recipe in this group and, if you ask the opinion of my father, the best one too. There is nothing better than hot liquid with celery taste and chewy bits of oysters to warm your heart.
In less than half an hour, you will have an excellent meal on your hands, and your family will be delighted with it.
List of ingredients:
- Start by melting the butter over high heat, then add oysters, celery cream, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook, while gently stirring until oysters curl.
- At last, add the milk to the mixture and stir until your stew is heated through. Serve hot.
2. Oyster Stuffing Casserole
If you are making a dinner for a large family or group of friends, this oyster casserole is the ideal solution. You can make 12-16 servings out of it.
My husband is the biggest fan of this recipe because he likes to combine oysters with some, as he says – “serious” meat. So, if you have a meat-lover in your family too, use this dish as a stuffing for a 15 lb. turkey or a side dish that will complete any festive meal, like fish or baked chicken.
List of Ingredients:
- Before you start your cooking process, you should preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Take a large frying pan and crisp the bacon. Once it is done, drain the fat off and set bacon slices aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and use it to sauté onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves. This should be done in about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, horseradish and one cup of white wine. Cook this mixture for three more minutes.
- In the meantime, place the cubed bread in a 12-cup casserole dish.
- Once the chicken stock and wine mixture is done, pour it over the bread. Add crisped bacon and smoked oysters. Toss it lightly to mix everything thoroughly.
- Stir in the remaining spices and herbs.
- Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Once it is done, the crust should have beautiful, golden brown color.
3. Oyster Soufflé
You know what they say: “Be patient, good things take a long time.”
The same goes for this recipe. It will take more than two hours for you to make it, but it will pay off. My boys prefer this recipe over the oyster stew, and I completely understand their choice. The soufflé is juicy and savory, yet gentle on your taste-buds.
List of ingredients:
- Before you start prepping the ingredients, preheat your oven to 325° F.
- Use a little bit of butter to grease your one-quart casserole dish.
- Place the first layer of crushed buttery crackers in a prepared casserole dish. The next thing you should do is top the crackers with a layer of drained oysters.
- Keep placing new layers until you’ve spent all of the oysters. End with one final layer of cracker crumbs on top.
- Take the half-and-half cream and drizzle it overall. Add pieces of butter too. Next, sprinkle paprika over it. Finally, cover the casserole dish and let it stand for one hour.
- Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for one hour. Once the dish is done, the top should be golden, while the center of the soufflé should be firm.
Except for the three oyster-based dishes I explained, there are many great recipes out there which use canned oysters instead of raw ones.
Don’t be afraid to explore and try them all. You can do much more with canned seafood than you expect.
Just make sure to share the food with your loved ones. Love, laughter and good company make every meal a thousand times better. 🙂
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