|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 45g||57%|
|Saturated Fat 26g||128%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|Total Sugars 9g|
|Vitamin C 21mg||106%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
For many, when hearing the word oyster, they think about extremely difficult and fancy dishes that only restaurant chefs can accomplish. But in reality, there is nothing simpler than an oyster stew. There's nothing to chop, there's no sauteeing of vegetables, no extreme preparation. Simply place all the ingredients in a large pot, cook until hot, and serve with oyster crackers. This simple one-pot meal is actually a soup, but it's been called a stew for decades. The main difference between the two is that soups have a higher liquid quantity, even if there are other solid ingredients, whereas stews are thick and hearty and could be picked up with a fork, even if they have some liquid in them.
Oysters are high in many essential nutrients and minerals like zinc, iron, and magnesium, very low in calories, and still comparatively high in protein compared to other animal meats. A 3-ounce serving of oysters has 69 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 8 grams of protein, compared to the 210 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein that the same serving size of ground beef provides. Oysters are available in the refrigerator section of the seafood department; you can find them in 10-ounce or 32-ounce jars. While not fresh from the sea, these oysters are a good option, and a time-saving one, too. If you choose to use fresh oysters and shuck them, buy between 48 and 60 oysters.
Gather the ingredients.
Stirring often, bring to a near boil, but don't allow the mixture to actually boil or you risk that the soup may curdle.
Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Divide the soup into 4 to 6 bowls and top each with oyster crackers and a sprinkling of paprika. Serve with hot sauce if any of your guests would like some more spice.
Why Does Oyster Stew Curdle?
The reason for curdling is enzymes in fresh oysters that can cause a chemical reaction, which causes the proteins to coagulate. Not allowing the soup to boil, keeping it at a steady low temperature while cooking and stirring often, will help prevent curdling.
Another reason the stew could curdle is if the milk or half and half is added cold after other ingredients, oysters included, are already hot. That's why it's best to start the stew with all of the ingredients at similar temperatures and heat them up at the same time.
For either of these reasons, if your stew curdles, it's not a problem. The flavor won't be affected. If it happens, remove the stew from the heat immediately, add an ice cube, and keep stirring. The texture might go back to normal by doing so. If not, it means the temperature was too high for too long. It will taste good, but it won't be quite as attractive.
Dairy-Free Oyster Stew
Many people who can't digest dairy, or choose not to eat it, miss out on delicious seafood stews and soups because they often have dairy products, from butter to whole milk. Or half and half like our recipe. Although many might argue the following variation isn't a proper oyster stew, it is a delicious one, even if not classic:
- Replace the 5 cups of half-and-half with 3 cups of full-fat coconut milk and 2 cups of coconut cream. Cook all ingredients together, like in the original recipe. Add extra salt, as needed, as the coconut flavor and creaminess might require you to do so.