Oyster Pot Pie

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Oyster Pot Pie

1 quart shucked fresh oysters, un-drained
½ cup diced bacon
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped celery
8 ounces fresh crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons sliced green onions
½ cup shelled peas
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt (if needed)
1 tablespoon seeded  and minced pimento
12 ramekin cups
half a 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

Preheat oven to 400°.

Drain oysters, reserving 1½ cups oyster liquor. Over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until crisp.
In a heavy-bottom stock pan, heat butter, bacon and bacon drippings, and sauté the celery and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and stir constantly to avoid burning. Stir in flour slowly. Once that is incorporated, add white wine and stir to soften residue on pan bottom. Add heavy cream to make the sauce.

Once the sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken, add lemon juice, green onions and peas. Stir, then add oyster liquor and stir in. Add oysters, and simmer until their edges begin to curl. Season mixture with nutmeg, cayenne pepper and seafood seasoning (and salt, if needed). Add pimento at the end, and mix thoroughly.

Fill ramekin cups with mixture. Using a biscuit cutter, cut circular tops from puff pastry sheets, and place circles atop ramekins. Bake about 10 minutes or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.

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