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Oyster Stew with Cornbread topped with Celery leaf salad

(4 servings) – From Chef James Barrett

Oyster Stew with Cornbread topped with Celery leaf salad


– For the Oyster Stew

1 slice of bacon, minced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 thyme sprig
1 teaspoon paprika
¾ tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 quart freshly shucked oysters, drained, and 1 1/2 cups of liquor reserved
1 cup fish stock or clam broth,
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 quart heavy cream
1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

– For the Celery Leaf Salad

2 cup celery leaves
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 tsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp shaved parmesan
1 tsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

– For the Cornbread

½ cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole fresh corn kernels
1 cup buttermilk
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour, all purpose
½ tsp sea salt


– Oyster Stew: In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add the celery, onion, thyme, paprika and Old Bay and cook, stirring continuously, until the onion is clear,  about 2 minutes. Add the oyster liquor and fish stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium to low heat for about 10 minutes, until reduced by one-fourth. Stir the heavy cream into the pot and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the oysters and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Discard the thyme sprig.

– Cornbread: Preheat oven to 375*f. Generously oil 3” bundt cake mold. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, kernels and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

– Celery Leaf Salad: Gently mix all ingredients

– Assembly: Spoon oyster stew into a large bowl with Corn Bread in the middle and top with  leaf salad.