Thomas Downing-Inspired NYC Oyster Pan Roast 6.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Sep 23, 2016

Named after a freed African American from Virginia who relocated to New York, this dish celebrates the legacy of Thomas Downing, who opened an oyster restaurant on the city's Broad Street. He and his son housed escaped slaves in their basements as part of the underground railroad.


Servings:
6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 12 baguette slices, for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 of them melted
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 dozen freshly shucked oysters, preferably from the Chesapeake Bay, plus 1 cup oyster liquor
  • 3 tablespoons Heinz chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange the baguette slices flat on a baking sheet and brush the tops of each one using the tablespoon of melted butter. Bake (middle rack) for 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the shallot; cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender, then add the wine; increase the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until that liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the oyster liquor and cook just long enough for the mixture to begin bubbling at the edges.

Add the chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce and cream, stirring to blend well. Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low; add the oysters and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to overcook them.

Gently stir the Tabasco sauce and the remaining tablespoon of butter into the saucepan until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the heat.

To serve, place 6 oysters into each wide, shallow bowl, then ladle the chili cream sauce over each portion. Garnish each with 2 baguette slices.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe developed by Albert Lukas, supervising chef at the Sweet Home Cafe in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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