Oyster & Charred Leek Stew

 
 
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Creamy, with a hint of smokiness from the charred leeks, this oyster-studded stew is a real knockout, whether served with bread as an entree or before a meal, as an appetizer.

 
 

Oyster & Charred Leek Stew


Prep time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

 


Ingredients

1 medium leek, white part only, split lengthwise

½ onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, de-ribbed and diced fine

1 bay leaf

¼ c dry sherry

2 cups heavy cream

4 cups fish or shellfish stock

Salt

White pepper

4 tbsp butter, divided

2 tbsp all purpose flour


1 dozen raw oysters, shucked

 
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Method

Brush leek with oil and char under broiler for 3-5 minutes on each side, or grill over hot coals. Chop crosswise into ¼” strips. Set aside.


Make the roux: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour, then cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a golden brown color. Set aside.

Sweat the onions, garlic and bay leaf on medium heat in a saucepan with 2 tbsp butter until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes until celery is tender, stirring often. Add leeks, then add sherry and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce until liquid is just below the vegetables.

Add stock and bring to a steady simmer, then pour in heavy cream and stir. When the stew is back to a simmer, add roux and stir until soup is thickened. Season with salt and white pepper.

When ready to serve, add raw oysters, stir and serve immediately. The residual heat from the soup will cook the oysters perfectly. Serve alongside crusty bread and garnish with chives or parsley.

Optional: To bulk up the stew, you can add potatoes. Peel and cube 1 cup potatoes and drop into a pot of salted, boiling water. Cook until they can be pierced easily with a fork, then drain water and allow to cool. Add to stew after adding stock and cream.

 
 
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