Oysters and eggs marry well, and you need not cook an oyster much to fold it inside the envelope of an omelet. There are a number of good variations on this theme. Adapted from Jane Grigson’s Fish Book (London 1993)
-6-8 oysters per person
-1 Tablespoon butter per person
-1 Tablespoon minced shallot per person
-about ¼ cup chopped and fried mushrooms
-1 teaspoon minced parsley per person
-salt and pepper
-3-4 eggs per person
-1 Tablespoon milk per person
-drip of Worcestershire
-another Tablespoon of unsalted butter
- Shuck the oysters.
- Fry the shallot in the butter until pale gold, then add the oysters, mushrooms and parsley to the pan.
- Cook until the oysters are barely heated through; as always, the danger lies in overcooking them. Remove the mixture from the heat and season it lightly.
- Beat the eggs with the milk, cayenne and Worcestershire.
- Melt the remaining butter in an omelet pan over medium heat and pour in the beaten eggs. Cook the eggs until barely set on the bottom but still runny on top.
- Gently plop the oyster mixture onto one half of the egg, flip the other half over the oysters and slide from the pan. The omelet should be golden.
- If omelets frighten you, or you lack an omelet pan, go ahead and make scrambled eggs. Just follow Steps 1 through 3 before dumping the mixture into the beaten egg mixture and scramble the mess.
- About a Tablespoon per person of chopped cooked bacon makes a nice addition to the filling at the end of Step 3; now you are verging on a Hang town Fry.
- Here is a more than serviceable recipe for an oyster omelet, from The Master Book of Fish by Henry Smith. The cookbook was published in London just after the Second World War, when oysters must have been rare indeed in Britain. Its parsimonious use of egg reflects the exigencies of rationing. For a single diner:
“Mince well 3 fried oysters. Mix with them 2 well-beaten eggs; season lightly with salt and pepper, and add 1 eggcupful of cream. Beat vigorously. Heat ½ oz butter in an omelette pan until it almost smokes, add the omelette mixture, keeping the pan in a rolling motion to avoid the mixture forming a cake. Toss the omelette forward in the pan and fold neatly. Serve at once.” (Master Fish 138)
A good recipe; simple, concise and easy enough to follow, except for the reference to fried oysters; deep or pan fried? It is hard to tell and our experimentation discloses that either method makes a good oyster omelet.