To Scallop Oysters

Method

Large coarse oysters should never be dressed in this way. Select small plump ones for the purpose, let them be opened carefully, give them a scald in their own liquor, wash them in it free from grit, and beard them neatly. Butter the scallop shells and shake some fine bread-crumbs over them; fill them with alternate layers of oysters, crumbs of bread, and fresh butter cut into small bits; pour in the oyster-liquor, after it has been strained, put a thick, smooth layer of bread-crumbs on the top, moisten them with clarified butter,* place the shells in a Dutch oven before a clear fire, and turn them often until the tops are equally and lightly browned: send them immediately to table.

Some persons like a little white pepper or cayenne, and a flavouring of nutmeg added to the oysters; others prefer pounded mace. French cooks recommend with them a mixture of minced mushrooms stewed in butter till quite tender, and sweet herbs finely chopped. The fish is sometimes laid into the shells after having been bearded only.

* Common cooks merely stick small bits of butter on them.

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