Fried oyster BLT – Williams Sonoma
If you have any Williams Sonoma cookbooks in your personal collection, you know they tend to be full of vibrant photos. This particular cookbook, Cooking at Home, is the exception. This text-only cookbook is ginormous, super user friendly and chock full of short recipes that are easy to follow and low on ingredients. This cookbook is kind of like your old red Betty Crocker book, minus the jello pie and excessive array of recipes including the word “loaf.” It’s the kind of cookbook that you can pick up and flip through when you have an ingredient you want to cook with (aka, the 1/2 a bag of farro in your pantry) or if you’re needing a side to a dish or in the mood for a particular type of food.
On this particular occasion, I was looking for a good sandwich. Since we still have snow on the ground, my crock pot has been used excessively and I was looking to change things up from the soups and pastas we’ve had almost nightly on the menu. Because the book is arranged by categories, I flipped to the “Sandwiches and Pizzas” section and immediately knew the fried oyster BLT would be a winner.
I am a huge oyster fan but we rarely have them due to the oyster food poisoning debacle of 2005 involving my husband, an expensive seafood restaurant on the San Francisco pier and my insistence that he’d absolutely love raw oysters. After that, ahem, situation, we never really have them in the house. Even though I love oysters, somewhere in my past there were whisperings about this thing called compromise within marriages and oysters are amongst those things because getting sent to the ER for a couple days will do that to a person. Because my husband is reasonable, he knows that anytime the song “Lean on me” is played on the radio it must be changed or I need to be ushered from the situation because of my ahem, early 90s, experience in 6th grade when I got sent to the principals office for not singing the song because it was stupid. So now you get how marriage works. You’re welcome.
Moving on, I felt that oysters were allowed since I had a friend coming over for lunch and she likes oysters. And it’d be kind of a jerk move to be bringing crap up from a million years ago when he could just as easily eat some leftovers and deal.
This recipe was easy but a bit time consuming because of the frying. Everyone knows though that fried things are generally worth the wait. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake and worth the added effort of frying those delectable little mollusks. As with most recipes, omit ingredients if they are bad quality. If you cut your tomatoes open and they are white (as mine were fairly closing to being!) because its almost impossible for those of us with the 4 seasons to get good ones in winter, throw them away. If your bacon is all thin and fatty, you’re not doing this sandwich justice my friend. Suck it up and buy the good sruff.
This recipe is good as is, but certainly could be spruced up. Like I said, this cookbook is easy to follow with limited ingredients, so adding an aioli or something wouldn’t fit within the books premise. I will say that if you choose to follow the recipe exactly, you won’t be disappointed.
Ease and Convenience – 3 – Frying food in general is a pain in the ass but the short ingredient list is pretty great
Taste – 4 – If a BLT can be made better, plop a fried oyster on it
Cookbook – 3 – I hesitate to give this cookbook only a 3, but it doesn’t have pictures so what am I to do? I will say that I’ve used it probably a half a dozen times and it’s never steered me wrong so if you don’t care about photos and your old Betty Crocker is feeling a little archaic, then go for it, you won’t be disappointed. Also, the link I’m giving you is to the newest version. I assume it’s similar but haven’t seen it myself to compare.
Recipe – Williams-Sonoma Cooking at Home by Chuck Williams and Kristine Kidd, adapted by Shawny *
Ingredients- makes 6:
- 12 sliced of sliced and toasted sourdough
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 1 small head lettuce, leaves separated
- 1/2 lb bacon, cooked until crisp
- 2 large tomatoes
- Canola oil
- 1 cup flour
- salt and pepper
- 24 shucked oysters
Spread mayo on bread, top with lettuce, bacon and tomatoes, dividing evenly. Set aside.
Pour oil to a depth of 1.5 inches min in a deep sided frying pan and warm over high heat until ready to do the damn thing. Meanwhile, in a bowl combing flour, some salt and some pepper. Coat the oysters, shake them off and set aside.
Fry the oysters until crisp for a couple minutes until they seem done. Turn them often. Drain on a paper towel.
After the oysters have cooled, add them to the sandwiches and enjoy!
*want the real deal? Buy here. This is the newer version of the book, which is why it looks slightly different.