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Creamed Oysters and Leeks On Toast
© Reed Davis

Creamed Oysters and Leeks On Toast

  • SERVINGS: 10

You can purchase shucked oysters from your local fish market. The oysters should be plump and fresh-smelling.

  1. Ten 1/2-inch-thick slices of white bread or brioche, crust removed
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  3. 1 1/2 pints shucked oysters (about 4 dozen), liquor drained and reserved
  4. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  5. 6 ounces thickly sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  6. 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
  7. 2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
  8. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  9. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  10. 1/2 cup milk
  11. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  12. 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  13. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  14. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  15. Tabasco sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the bread with 3 tablespoons of the butter and arrange the slices, buttered side up, on a large baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Cut the toasts in half diagonally.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved oyster liquor and the wine and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Add the oysters and simmer over low heat until their edges start to curl, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the oysters to a plate; reserve the oyster-poaching liquid.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the leeks, celery and onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the reserved oyster-poaching liquid, whisking constantly, until smooth. Simmer over low heat, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream and thyme and simmer for 3 minutes longer, until thickened and creamy. Stir in the lemon juice, then season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Fold in the oysters and cook just until warmed through, about 1 minute.
  4. Arrange 2 toast halves on each of 10 plates. Spoon the creamed oysters on top, sprinkle with the bacon and serve at once.

Suggested Pairing

The fruit flavors of a Champagne will point up the saltiness of the oysters and the bacon; the acidity will cut the creamy sauce.