Oyster and Fava Bean Stew

Oyster, fava bean, buttenut squash stew.

I’ve once again fallen delinquent in my posting. It’s not so much that I haven’t been cooking as much as the fact that I’ve been cooking without recipes, or more precisely that I’ve been cooking and not documenting the recipes. Part of it has been because it takes more time to measure out and document stuff, and part of it has been because the things I’ve been making (mostly Japanese) involve ingredients that most people probably don’t have lying around. I know that there’s nothing worse than seeing something that looks good and then realizing you’ll need to plunk down $50 in “exotic” ingredients to make it, or worse yet, that the ingredients aren’t even available in your area.

So I’ll leave it up to you. Leave a comment if you think I should blog about dishes that I make even if it means it doesn’t come with an exact recipe. I’ll post photos, maybe even talk about what went into it, but there won’t be any proportions or recipe to speak of. If enough people want it I’ll bring it;-)

Moir PoixToday’s recipe came together from random items in the fridge and some oysters I picked up today. It has a lot more vegetables than a traditional oyster stew, but I like the variety of texture and the sweetness the veggies impart. If you want it to be more about the oysters, you could omit the butternut squash and strain the stew before you add the roux.

I also used soymilk because that’s what was in the fridge (and it was surprisingly creamy), but if you feel like this is sacrilege, by all means, swap out the soy milk for real milk. If you wanna go for the full coronary, you could even add a bit of cream at the end.

This would also work well with some diced fennel in the moir poix, or with a splash of Pernod at the end. You could also add other seafood, like clams, shrimp or fish if you wanted to. I was also thinking that it would make a great filling for a pot pie, but you’d probably have to refrigerate the filling and put the oysters into the pie raw before going into the oven to prevent them from overcooking.

This one’s getting entered in the Marx Foods contest for the month. If you have a great oyster recipe, enter for a chance to win 4 dozen oysters (and tell them who sent you ;-).

1 medium carrot diced
2 small stalks celery diced
1 medium onion diced
6 medium crimini mushrooms (aka baby portobellos) each cut into 6 wedges
1 C butternut squash cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs dry sherry
2 C soymilk (or regular milk)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt ( or 3/4 tsp regular salt)
1/2 tsp ground sage
black pepper to taste
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs flour
1/2 C shelled fresh fava beans
12 small oysters shucked with liquor reserved

To make the moir poix, saute the carrots, celery and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. It should be soft and fragrant, but not brown. Add the mushrooms, butternut squash and bay leaves and continue to saute another 4-5 minutes.

Turn up the heat and add the sherry, cook until the alcohol has burned off then add the soymilk, salt, sage, and black pepper. Turn down the heat to medium low and and simmer until the butternut squash is cooked.

In a separate pan, make a roux. Melt the butter then add the flour, cook until the two are well incorporated and the flour is cooked but not brown (about a minute or two). When the butternut squash is cooked, ladle some of the liquid from the stew into the roux and whisk until smooth. Pour this back into the stew and gently stir together making sure there are no clumps of roux.

To finish, add the fava beans and cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the oysters and liquor and cook until the oysters start curling around the edges (make sure you don’t overcook them, or they will get tough). Serve immediately with a thick slice of crusty bread.

  • http://madball911.blogspot.com/ Vicki

    Yes, post without recipes! Just seeing a picture or reading a stream-of-consciousness concoction can inspire others to make delicious things :-)

  • http://madball911.blogspot.com Vicki

    Yes, post without recipes! Just seeing a picture or reading a stream-of-consciousness concoction can inspire others to make delicious things :-)

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie@fig&cherry

    No recipes is cool with me! Like you, I rarely follow them exactly and mostly use them as inspiration to create something myself.

    I wouldn’t think to put oysters and butternut squash together… It’s made me think I’d like to puree some squash and serve in the shell with the oyster… thanks for the inspiration!

    ps. To answer your question on my blog – I’m in Sydney! Born and raised!

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie@fig&cherry

    No recipes is cool with me! Like you, I rarely follow them exactly and mostly use them as inspiration to create something myself.

    I wouldn’t think to put oysters and butternut squash together… It’s made me think I’d like to puree some squash and serve in the shell with the oyster… thanks for the inspiration!

    ps. To answer your question on my blog – I’m in Sydney! Born and raised!

  • http://noblepig.com/ noble pig

    This is beautiful and would make a lovely holiday course.

  • http://noblepig.com/ noble pig

    This is beautiful and would make a lovely holiday course.

  • http://www.dariustwilliams.blogspot.com/ Darius T. Williams

    I love a recipe with no recipe – lol. Great pics!

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  • http://www.dariustwilliams.blogspot.com Darius T. Williams

    I love a recipe with no recipe – lol. Great pics!

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    A casual exchange of ideas about what you cook is sufficient…I too hate the laborious task of recipe writing and tend to add my own “bits and pieces” to make it unique.

    This stew is really interesting…I see similarities with clam chowder but a little more heartier. I think it would work wonders in a pie Marc.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    A casual exchange of ideas about what you cook is sufficient…I too hate the laborious task of recipe writing and tend to add my own “bits and pieces” to make it unique.

    This stew is really interesting…I see similarities with clam chowder but a little more heartier. I think it would work wonders in a pie Marc.

  • http://feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com/ maybelles mom (feeding maybell

    I do include food that I didn’t have a recipe for even if they include “exotic” ingredients. And, I like to read those kinds of posts as well. I often read food blogs for ideas more than ingredients, and almost never follow recipes. My guess is many readers are the same way. So long story long, please do post some of those.

  • http://feedingmaybelle.blogspot.com maybelles mom (feeding maybelle)

    I do include food that I didn’t have a recipe for even if they include “exotic” ingredients. And, I like to read those kinds of posts as well. I often read food blogs for ideas more than ingredients, and almost never follow recipes. My guess is many readers are the same way. So long story long, please do post some of those.

  • http://www.marxfoods.com/ Emily

    Yes! Please keep ‘em coming regardless of exotic ingredient or “no recipes”

  • http://www.marxfoods.com/ Emily

    Yes! Please keep ‘em coming regardless of exotic ingredient or “no recipes”

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    oh what an amazing stew!!
    i agree i’m gutted when i see something so amazing but yet i know it’s gonna cost me quite a bit (since i live on a student budget) to get those ingredients but i reckon you should still go ahead and blog about them. i’m sure we, your readers, will still love to know about it and see how you work with respective ingredients! it’s great to learn new things -suppose tt’s really the point of food blogs :) x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    oh what an amazing stew!!
    i agree i’m gutted when i see something so amazing but yet i know it’s gonna cost me quite a bit (since i live on a student budget) to get those ingredients but i reckon you should still go ahead and blog about them. i’m sure we, your readers, will still love to know about it and see how you work with respective ingredients! it’s great to learn new things -suppose tt’s really the point of food blogs :) x

  • http://canarygirl.com/ canarygirl

    Wow. What a GORGEOUS stew! My grandmother used to make a delicious oyster stew, but I’ve never tried to make one at home. After seeing your version, though, I think I need to rectify that! Oh–POST those recipes, man! Even if they’re exotic or hard to find ingredients, a recipe is just a starting point…Personally, I find it incredibly difficult to follow a recipe to the letter anyway, and I love love LOVE to see what other people come up with, whether or not I am able to recreate it. Besides, your food porn is killer. It’s worth posting for the photos alone. :)

  • http://canarygirl.com canarygirl

    Wow. What a GORGEOUS stew! My grandmother used to make a delicious oyster stew, but I’ve never tried to make one at home. After seeing your version, though, I think I need to rectify that! Oh–POST those recipes, man! Even if they’re exotic or hard to find ingredients, a recipe is just a starting point…Personally, I find it incredibly difficult to follow a recipe to the letter anyway, and I love love LOVE to see what other people come up with, whether or not I am able to recreate it. Besides, your food porn is killer. It’s worth posting for the photos alone. :)

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ We Are Never Full

    i understand how hard it is to keep up with posting. it’s tough – esp. the recipe part. sometimes i am doing it from memory which is hard if you made the dish months earlier! we really don’t get paid for this, remember!

    this dish looks so satisfying and rich. i wish we could get oysters for a good price.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com We Are Never Full

    i understand how hard it is to keep up with posting. it’s tough – esp. the recipe part. sometimes i am doing it from memory which is hard if you made the dish months earlier! we really don’t get paid for this, remember!

    this dish looks so satisfying and rich. i wish we could get oysters for a good price.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That looks nice and colourful and good! I try to write out the recipes for what I want to make before I start making it so ensure that I have the recipe. If I modify it while making i I try my best to remember to write it down after eating.

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That looks nice and colourful and good! I try to write out the recipes for what I want to make before I start making it so ensure that I have the recipe. If I modify it while making i I try my best to remember to write it down after eating.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    This stew sounds delicious although I’m rather distracted by the word “crimini” LOL. I think posting without recipes is fine – as long as you are fairly clear about what ingredients go in. It’s nice to be inspired by things :)

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    This stew sounds delicious although I’m rather distracted by the word “crimini” LOL. I think posting without recipes is fine – as long as you are fairly clear about what ingredients go in. It’s nice to be inspired by things :)

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com/ syrie

    I love oyster stews! Looks great and yes, it does look suprisingly creamy for soy milk. I think you should definitely write about your Japanese recipes. Even if a few of us don’t have the ingrdients, you’ll teach about how to use them if we did buy them.

  • http://allthingsnice.typepad.com syrie

    I love oyster stews! Looks great and yes, it does look suprisingly creamy for soy milk. I think you should definitely write about your Japanese recipes. Even if a few of us don’t have the ingrdients, you’ll teach about how to use them if we did buy them.

  • http://tastewiththeeyes.blogspot.com/ Lori Lynn

    I will eat oyster anything and love it. Raw, cooked, bbq, fried…
    Your stew is so pretty with the fall colors!

  • http://tastewiththeeyes.blogspot.com/ Lori Lynn

    I will eat oyster anything and love it. Raw, cooked, bbq, fried…
    Your stew is so pretty with the fall colors!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Oh, yum. It reminds me of chowder, which is always good (okay, I know it isn’t ;) I think you should post even if there are absolutely no recipes. I’m sure the food will be very much worth it :)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Oh, yum. It reminds me of chowder, which is always good (okay, I know it isn’t ;) I think you should post even if there are absolutely no recipes. I’m sure the food will be very much worth it :)

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    To be honest, Marc, I’ve always found it a bit ironic that your blog is called “No Recipes”, yet you always give us recipes. Real cooks don’t need ‘em! Give us what you got, written or not. The fun part is the cooking and photography anyway. This is your hobby.

    If people can’t find an ingredient, who cares? Everyone has their own meibutsu, and their own special sauce. They just need to find it.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    To be honest, Marc, I’ve always found it a bit ironic that your blog is called “No Recipes”, yet you always give us recipes. Real cooks don’t need ‘em! Give us what you got, written or not. The fun part is the cooking and photography anyway. This is your hobby.

    If people can’t find an ingredient, who cares? Everyone has their own meibutsu, and their own special sauce. They just need to find it.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

No Recipes vol. 1
Oyster Rice (Kaki Meshi)
Chocolate orange martini
Skate with wine braised Cipollini and fennel
Kedgeree
Asian Noodle Salad with Fried Halloumi
Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes
Ramps