Coast Cooking

Oysters are excellent in a gumbo

Oysters are also a perfect ingredient for gumbo.
Oysters are also a perfect ingredient for gumbo. SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD

I’m blogging about oysters this week, and all of their delicious culinary applications. If I were to bring up gumbo would you be surprised?

Gumbo and oysters? Yep, that’s right.

But a word of warning, please! Gumbo is a long-simmered dish, and if you were to add the oysters at the beginning you would end up with something that tastes like little pieces of dried flip-flops. Yuk!

So what’s a poor soul to do if you crave a delicious, savory gumbo, thick with browned slices of smoked sausage, fragrant with other bits of seafood and who also wants the delicate flavor and texture of fresh oysters?

The answer is quite simple. The liquor the oysters are packed in can be added as soon as other liquids are added to the simmering gumbo. It would be hard to add too much, just simmer it down to the thickness you desire. The oyster itself should be added only at the last moment, when the stove has been turned off, the gumbo is still piping hot but not simmering. It will be done in a minute or two and should be served at once.

As an aside, roasted duck is a perfect match for an oyster gumbo, just be sure to roast the duck separately, then add the deboned meat 15 or 20 minutes before the gumbo is to be served.