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Dining Tip: Island Creek Oyster Stew

A deliciously refined version of the classic from Boston's Island Creek Oyster Bar

Posted: October 29, 2012

Recipe by chef Jeremy Sewall, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston

To make Island Creek Oyster Stew:
• 1/2 cup slab bacon, diced
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 small Spanish onion, finely diced
• 1 leek, white only, sliced
• 1 small celery root, peeled and finely diced
• 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled, diced and blanched
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
• Oyster Stew Sauce (see recipe below)
• 16 Island Creek oysters, shucked and liquid saved
• 8 large flat parsley leaves, julienned
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 4 slices of brioche, crust removed and lightly toasted

1. Add the water and bacon to a sauté pan that is large enough to hold all the vegetables. Cook until the bacon is golden brown and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan but leave 2 tablespoons of the fat.

2. Add the vegetables and potatoes and sauté until they begin to lightly color. Remove from heat. Pour the Oyster Stew Sauce into the vegetable mixture. Slowly bring to a simmer and let simmer for two minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add oysters with liquid, lemon zest and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Place the toasted brioche in four bowls and carefully spoon the stew over the brioche. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

To make Oyster Stew Sauce:
• 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
• 1 clove garlic, smashed
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2 sprigs thyme
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Heat the canola oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat for 3 minutes, but do not let brown.

2. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the wine is cooked down by half.

3. Add the cream and thyme; continue to simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain through a fine mesh strainer, add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

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