Oysters are abundant and affordable in Seattle, and this recipe is a family favorite. Small, sweet Pacific Northwest oysters are perfect here. Larger, brinier East Coast oysters might overwhelm the delicate broth.
- 16 West Coast oysters
- Bottled clam juice (if needed)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 cups half-and-half
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Shuck oysters. Strain liquor to remove grit. If necessary, add clam juice to liquor to increase volume to ½ cup.
Heat butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add celery and shallot. Cook until tender, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and oyster liquor. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes, but don’t let boil. Transfer to blender. Purée mixture, and strain back into pot. Add oysters and heat just until edges curl, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serves 2.