Editor's note: Homer News reporter Sepp Jannotta, who wrote the first two parts of the "On the Half Shell" series, contributed the following family recipe to help close out the series.
Two other recipes, favorites of an area chef and Kachemak Bay oyster farmer, are included as well and are listed below.
Here's an oyster recipe that comes by way of that little hamlet by Lake Michigan -- Chicago.
My grandmother, who steadfastly adhered to the Italian tradition that the food ruled the function, used to make this dish each year for our family's Christmas dinner.
With dozens descending on a laden table, her scalloped oysters took their place alongside the more traditional holiday offerings and always received rave reviews.
Until she was 90 or so, she would bring the oysters. In return, and without fail, my uncles would lead the rest of us in serenading her with "You're Not the Only Oyster In the Stew."
-- Sepp Jannotta
Gigi's Scalloped Oysters
1 cup soda cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1 pint fresh oysters (salt and pepper to taste)
4 tablespoons oyster liquid
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash of cayenne and mace
Combine crumbs and butter. Mix well. Spread a third of the mixture over bottom of shallow buttered baking dish. Cover with half the oysters. Season with salt and pepper. Add half the oyster liquid and 1 tablespoon milk or cream with 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and mace.
Repeat the procedure ending with crumbs. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Recipe may be doubled using a larger pan, but do not make more than 2 layers.
Excellent with roast turkey, steak or as a standalone supper.
Fruit Pico de Gallo
by Dave Olsen, Caf Cups
Freshly shucked oysters
3/4 cup diced fruit of choice
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup fresh roasted, peeled and diced Anaheim chili peppers
2 tablespoons fresh roasted, peeled and minced jalapeno peppers
1 1/2 cups diced Roma tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoons coriander
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
Lightly mix and rest for one hour. Add to oysters on the half shell and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 475 degrees until brown.
Moss Island Oysters
by Marie Bader
18 freshly shucked oysters
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
finely chopped green onions
6-10 sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons flour
salt, paprika and cayenne pepper to taste
seasoned bread crumbs
Reserve the liquor, and return oysters to their shells. Place in oven on a 1/2-inch bed of rock salt in a baking dish. Saute the mushrooms, parsley and green onions in butter, and add a 1/2 cup of oyster liquor, the wine and heavy cream. Mix in flour. When thickened, season to taste.
Spoon mushroom mixture onto each half shell oyster and sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika.
Bake at 425 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes and serve immediately.
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