A pint of small plump oysters will be sufficient for a quite moderate-sized dish, but twice as many will be required for a large one. Let them be very carefully opened, and not mangled in the slightest degree; wash them free from grit in their own strained liquor, lay them into a very clean stewpan or well-tinned saucepan, strain the liquor a second time, pour it on them, and heat them slowly in it When they are just beginning to simmer, lift them out with a slice or a bored wooden spoon, and take off the beards; add to the liquor a quarter of a pint of good cream, a seasoning of pounded mace, and cayenne, and a little salt, and when it boils, stir in from one to two ounces of good butter, smoothly mixed with a large teaspoonful of flour; continue to stir the sauce until these are perfectly blended with it, then put in the oysters, and let them remain by the side of the fire until they are very hot: they require so little cooking that, if kept for four or five minutes nearly simmering, they will be ready for table, and they are quickly hardened by being allowed to boil, or by too much stewing. Serve them garnished with pale fried sippets.
Obs.—a little lemon-juice should be stirred quickly into the stew just as it is taken from the fire. Another mode of preparing this dish, is to add the strained liquor of the oysters to about an equal quantity of rich bechamel, with a little additional thickening; then to heat them in it, after having prepared and plumped them properly. Or, the beards of the fish may be stewed for half an hour in a little pale gravy, or good broth, and this, when strained and mixed with the oyster-liquor, may be brought to the consistency of cream with the French thickening., or, with flour and butter, then seasoned with spice as above: the process should be quite the same in all of these receipts, though the composition of the sauce is varied. Essence of anchovies, cavice, chili vinegar, or yolks of eggs can be added to the taste.
For Curried Oysters.