Cooking Louisiana - Fried Oysters

Fried oysters has got to be the best thing since sliced bread, and I still haven't figured out what the best thing before sliced bread was! Maybe you know. This is a "tight crust" recipe so greasiness is at a minimum. 

This will fry about 2 doz. oysters. 

Oyster preparation:

Wash the oysters and keep them cool. That's it.


Wet mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1 tbs. Creole Seasoning (your choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Put oysters in liquid mix. Mix it all up and marinade it for 30 or more minutes in the ice box. 

Dry Mix
2 cups corn flour (see note 1) or fish fry, OR Corn Meal (the old way).
3/4 cup cornstarch (makes it stick better)
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp lemon and pepper seasoning

Don't hesitate to adjust any of the above to your liking...

Cooking:

Dredge the oysters in the dry mix and let sit a minute or so moving them around just a little. Using a paper bag works good for this too. Just drop the oysters in and shake it up a few times. 

Use peanut oil, about 2" in the pan depending upon the pan depth. Heat to 365F (hot oil will burn you badly, be careful). Place oysters in the oil leaving at least a 3/4" space between pieces. Why? If you pack the pan with too much meat the oil cools too much and that equals soggy oysters (not good).

Timing: Cook them about 4 minutes. I watch the bubbling to judge the doneness, I don't time it. Let them fry until they barely bubble. With practice you can get each piece done perfectly. You cannot tell how done the oysters are by the outer color, it's all in the bubbles! Check this out... Remove the oysters and place on paper towels. Move them around so the grease is soaked up. Taste one once they're cooled a little to see if you need to add any seasoning. Transfer them to another pan with more paper towels and cover with paper towels. 

Let the oil come back to at least 360F for the next batch! Remember, the oil cools as you cook. If you don't have a frying thermometer get one, guessing just don't get it! If the oil gets too hot turn the fire off and let it cool to the right temperature. If the oil smokes you've probably ruined it. A thermometer prevents all of this trouble.

Note 1: I am lucky enough to be able to get corn flour from a wholesale distributor. A 20lb. sack costs about $5.00. You can also use a commercially sold fish fry mix which uses the same basic ingredients. It's mostly corn flour (read the ingredients), and comes seasoned and unseasoned. You can also mix corn meal and flour and that works okay too. Corn meal is coarser than corn flour, hence the name, "corn flour". Corn flour is pulverized corn meal. Using only corn meal in the dry mix is the old way of frying oysters and I like it!

Note 2: To keep the food warm put the oven on 200F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up about 15 minutes. Cover the oysters with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or loosely with  foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the oysters will become soggy. If you leave the oven on it will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the oysters will dry out anyway.

This is just the way I fry oysters and I'd like to see the way you do it. Send me your recipe.

Enjoy.....
Jack

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