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Oysters à la Somerset


1 pint / about a dozen selected oysters
1/3 cup (about 75ml) oyster liquor
1 tablespoon of chopped onion
1/3 cup (about 75ml) chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped mushrooms
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of butter
A little cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons of flour
1 egg
A generous handful of breadcrumbs


  • Parboil and drain the oysters. Reserve the liquor, strain and set aside for the sauce.

  • Cook the onion and mushroom in the butter for five minutes then add the flour.

  • Gradually pour on the oyster liquor and chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

  • Remove the tough muscles from the oysters and discard (unless you’re using Porlock Bay oysters, as there’s no part of these delicious specimens that is too tough!).

  • Shape the oysters, cover with sauce and allow to cool on a plate. Persuade them to stay upright by placing them on a bed of breadcrumbs.

  • Dip in egg and breadcrumbs, then fry in deep fat and drain on brown paper.

  • As you can see from the illustration, we served five or so oysters with a garnish of pak choi as a scrumptious starter.