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Mere's Oyster Patty, 1971

I was THISCLOSE to including an original oyster patty recipe in my cookbook, The Infinite Feast. You'll have to settle for this classic one instead, for now! Also known as oysters vol-au-vent.


Originally The Old Ursuline Convent Cookbook. This modern edition is copyright 1971, from The Ursuline Academy Cooperative Club. The Ursuline Nuns occupied the convent (pictured on the cookbook cover below) from 1752 to 1825. It is the oldest existing building in the Mississippi Valley (yes, that means from New Orleans all the way up to Minnesota), and one of the few in New Orleans to have survived from the French Colonial Period.

MERE'S (Mother's) OYSTER PATTY


12 tablespoons butter

½ tablespoon leaf thyme

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 cups milk

1½ bunches green onion, chopped fine

1½ tablespoons chopped parsley

Red pepper to taste

3 dozen oysters


Sauté green onions in 8 Tablespoons of butter in a deep skillet. Add the thyme and flour and cook over low heat. Stir constantly; do not brown the flour. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add milk gradually, stirring briskly to prevent lumping. Return pan to heat until sauce thickens, stir constantly.


Add oysters to the sauce and cook over low heat until oysters curl. The sauce will now be thinner, if too thin stir some of the sauce into about 2 tablespoons flour to make a smooth, light paste. Add more sauce to this and then while stirring, pour this thickening agent slowly into sauce skillet. Cook a few minutes longer. If sauce is too thick after cooking, add some of the oyster water. Lastly add 4 Tablespoons butter and parsley.


Recipe will be enough for at least 1 dozen patty shells.

LOU BERTAUT DOUGLASS

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Where do I get the patty shells?!? Why, right here of course.

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And here's how this finished recipe might look. I'm grateful for this photo by Louisiana Cookin'/Stephanie Laurent.

Let's get us to makin' some patties!




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