Oyster stew is one of my favorite dishes. Way back when, 25-30 years ago, one of my guilty pleasures (of the food variety of pleasures) was buying Campbell’s Oyster Stew at the grocery store. At that time, most of the soup was probably 75 to 85 cents a can and the oyster stew was about $1.25 so there was quite a difference in price for it. I wouldn’t buy it every week or even every month so I can’t be sure when I stopped being able to buy it. I can’t remember the last time I saw it on a shelf in a grocery store. The funny thing is, searching on the Internet, I get conflicting stories as to the current status of the product:
This store/website says that they can sell the product:
But when I go to the official Campbell’s Soup website and use their search feature:
All I know is that I can’t buy it, so I will have to “improvise, adapt and overcome.”
Lady Luck was good to me one day while browsing the meat counter at the grocery store as I saw the below containers of shucked oysters that were on sale for $3.99 and they were usually $8.99.
I looked at the oysters for a few moments and even I had to think about the downside of marked down seafood !!! The lady fish monger that I usually talk to there saw me looking at the oysters and came over. She said that they had ordered one case of the product and they shipped twelve so they had to go straight to markdown. She also said that they would freeze just fine.
So I bought a couple of containers and put them in the freezer. About a month later I decided to make some oyster stew. Most of the recipes I found had very similar directions and ingredients. In the sauce pan wet the stick (yes a whole stick) of butter with the onions and the celery. The previous photo shows shallots, but I found some white onion in the fridge that I thought I would use. All of the recipes called for putting the oyster liquid in the stew and I wanted to rinse the oysters to make sure all of the grit was removed. What I found out was that tit was less of a liquid as it was a gel. I was NOT able to strain the oysters to rinse them. Oysters and the oyster juices go into the butter after the celery and onions softened.
When they pucker up and curl, they are done enough to simmer .
Boy was this good. Boy was it rich too.
I will definitely make this again but next time I will only use a 1/4 stick of butter and probably just use the skim milk that we keep at home.