Between shucking and slurping, oysters play hard to get. But, like any passionate love affair, when you finally get to savor one, the work makes it taste that much better.
In celebration of this weekend’s Oyster Fest at Waterbar, chef Parke Ulrich shared his recipe for oyster stew (which he’ll be serving to attendees). In this luxuriously rich dish, the nuggets of briny goodness get a shot of heat from ancho chile butter.
Waterbar’s Oyster Stew
2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
5 tbsp. butter
Juice of one lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 c. heavy cream
2 c. half and half
16 Drake’s Bay oysters, shucked, liquor reserved
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Toast chile powder in a saute pan over medium heat until the pan is hot, to release the flavor. In a bowl, mix the chile powder with butter, lime, and cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
2. In a sauce pan, gently warm the cream and half and half. As it comes to a simmer, add reserved oyster juices and remove from heat. Add the oysters and season with salt and pepper.
3. Ladle the stew into four bowls, evenly distributing the oysters. Dollop a tablespoon of softened chile butter on top of the oysters and finish with sprigs of cilantro.
Oyster Fest is Saturday, noon-3 p.m., at Waterbar, 399 The Embarcadero, at Folsom Street (415-284-9922). Tickets online at waterbarsf.com.
Photo: FotoosVanRobin / Flickr