Lyonnaise oyster stew

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 larges Leeks - unblemished, about 1 1/2 pounds
3 \N Med. potatoes - about 1 1/4 pounds
3 tablespoons Butter
6 cups Water
\N \N Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ pounds Cheese - preferably Gruyere or Swiss
¼ cup Vegetable oil
3 cups Bread - white, crustless cubed
1 cup Whipping cream
⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg - fresly grated
1 pint Oysters - shucked, with their liquor
¼ cup Parsley - finely chopped

1. Trim off the root ends and most of the green part of the leeks.

Reserve the white part of the leeks plus a small part of the green.

Split the white part in half and rinse thoroughly between the leaves.

2. Cut the leeks lengthwise into thin strips and then crosswise into very small cubes. There should be about 5 cups.

3. Peel the potatoes and cut them lengthwise in half. Cut each half crosswise into very thin slices. There should be about 4 cups.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan and add the chopped leek. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and water and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in a colander. Reserve both the liquid and solids.

5. Meanwhile, finely grate the cheese. There should be about 1 cup.

6. Heat the oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet and add the bread cubes. Cook, shaking the skillet and stirring, until the cubes are golden brown. Drain in a sieve.

7. Put the leek and potato solids in a food processor or blender.

Blend thoroughly while adding small amounts of the reserved cooking liquid. Add only enough liquid to make a fine puree.

8. Combine the puree with the remaining liquid in a kettle and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add the nutmeg and heat thoroughly.

9. Add the oysters with their liquor and cook briefly or just until the oysters curl. Serve sprinkled with the parsley and with the croutons and cheese on the side.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe from "Cuisine Rapide" by Pierre Franey and Brian Miller.

Posted by Michelle Bass. Courtesy of Fred Peters.

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