Nowadays, we think of oysters as a luxury food, but a few centuries ago they where in such bountiful and accessible supply that people actually complained of having to eat too many. Too many oysters - can you imagine?
Today is the Orthodox Christmas day. Marry Christmas to all who celebrates it on this day!
Oyster-Corn Chowder & Garlic-Rosemary Biscuits
For the Garlic-Rosemary Biscuits:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped or 1 tsp dried
- 2-3 garlic cloves, put through press
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, in pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir
- 2 Tbsp. cream or melted butter
- 1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 pint oysters
- 2 large shallots
- 3 medium potatoes, diced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 2 bottles clam broth + 2 cups of water or fish stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (you can add more cream to make thicker chowder)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- fresh chives for garnish
To make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 450F, lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, rosemary, and garlic. Cut in cold butter pieces until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk or kefir and stir until mixture comes together to form a dough.
On a floured surface, knead dough 1 minute. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut biscuits with 2-inch round cutter, then re-roll scraps gently and cut again. Place on baking sheet, brush tops with cream or melted butter, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.
To make the chowder: Drain oysters in a strainer, saving all liquid. Chop shallots extremely fine and sauté them in butter till translucent but not a bit browned. Add oyster liquid, clam broth and water to shallots, and bring to the boil. Add potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Then add cream, corn, oysters and season to your taste; bring to simmer. Let it sit on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Garnish with a sprinkling go the fresh herbs and serve hot with fresh baked biscuits.