In Victorian times, oysters, which were plentiful and cheap, were served either raw, as a stew or as fritters similar to this recipe. The fritters can be reheated in a 350 F oven for 5 minutes, but they are at their crispiest straight out of the skillet.
- 12 large oysters, shucked
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
Drain oysters in a strainer for a few minutes. Coarsely chop and return to strainer until ready to use.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and celery and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Let cool.
Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in pepper. Make a well in the centre and drop the egg and water into the well. Slowly stir into flour mixture. Stir in shallot mixture and parsley. Stir in oysters.
Heat ½-inch oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds.
Drop batter into oil, 2 tablespoons at a time, and cook fritters until golden brown, turning once, about 1 minute per side. Drain and serve immediately. Makes 10 to 12.