Southern Oyster Casserole
Source of Recipe
From "Nathalie Dupree's Comfortable Entertaining" by Nathalie Dupree
"This dish is a holiday staple in Southern coastal cities. It can be served with the rest of the meal on the holiday buffet table, but my friend Marion likes to have it ready to go in the oven in case the meal is delayed and tempers get short. It soothes and warms enough to keep the hungry waiting. I'd set out little bread-and-butter plates and forks and put the casserole in the living room."
List of Ingredients
2 quarts oysters
¼ pound (1 stick) butter
3 whole scallions, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded, de-ribbed, and chopped
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup grated imported Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup bread crumbs
Preheat the broiler. Grease a 9 x 13-inch ovenproof serving dish or spray it with nonstick spray. Drain the oysters and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy casserole. Add the scallions and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. In a separate pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter. Stir in the flour. When smooth, add the cream and stir until boiling and thick. Add the cheese. Stir this cheese sauce into the oyster mixture and season with nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper. The casserole may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated overnight. Return it to the simmer on top of the stove before proceeding.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the bread crumbs and dot with the remaining butter. Place under the boiler until browned and bubbling - about 10 minutes, depending on the depth of the casserole.
Serves 10 to 20 as a starter.