JASPER WHITE'S OYSTER STEW
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Jasper White is well-known for the seafood dishes he serves at his Boston restaurant, Jasper's. `I make a stock to heighten the flavors,' he writes of this recipe, `then I add heavy cream; together they equal the consistency of a stew made only with milk. The added benefit of using heavy cream is that it almost never breaks (curdles) the way milk often does.' 1 pint shucked oysters and their liquid 1/2 cup onion, cut in small dice 1/2 cup celery root or peeled celery cut in small dice 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil Freshly ground pepper Common crackers (optional)
Pick through the oysters very carefully, removing any bits of shell. Place them in a small saucepan with their liquid and 2 cups water. Heat slowly until the oysters begin to curl. Remove and set aside. Strain the liquid and set aside.
Slowly simmer the onion and celery root in butter in a soup pot until tender (about 6 minutes). Add the oyster cooking liquid and heavy cream. Heat almost to the boiling point and simmer for 10 minutes. Add oysters, parsley, and chervil. Season to taste with pepper. Simmer one minute more. Ladle into soup bowls and serve with common crackers. Serves six as a starter course.