A delicate oyster bisque and tangy salad dressing


An oyster bisque and a honey mustard salad dressing are the orders of the day.

Faye Mager of Annapolis loved the oyster bisque served at the old Hutzler's department store and wrote that she would love to have a recipe like it.

Help came from Kari Fandek of Towson, who notes that her recipe came from the "Williamsburg Cookbook."

Ryan McPherson of Whiteville, N.C., requested a honey mustard salad dressing "like the one served at the Outback Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, S.C."

A response from Jeannie Winder of Crystal Lake, Ill., was the choice of tester Laura Reiley.

Oyster Bisque

Serves 4

1 quart oysters

1 bay leaf

2 medium onions, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pint light cream

1/4 cup sherry, optional

paprika or chopped parsley, for garnish

Strain and chop oysters; reserve liquor. Add enough water to the liquor to make 1 quart. Add the bay leaf, half the onion and half the celery and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to "ripen" at least 1 hour. Strain.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add the remaining onion and celery. Saute 5 minutes. Stir in the flour but do not brown. Remove from heat and add part of the oyster stock, stirring constantly. Return to heat and add remaining stock, stirring until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the oysters and cream and simmer gently 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sherry, if desired, just before serving. Ladle the bisque into warm bowls. Garnish with paprika or chopped parsley.

Tester Reiley's comments: "Try to use fresh, sweet oysters for this delicate dish. I used small Malpeque oysters. If you buy already-shucked oysters, be sure that they are packaged in clear, not cloudy, oyster liquor. Because the broth for this soup is , oyster liquor and 1/3 cream, it is not too heavy. The onion and the sherry balance nicely, giving the soup more depth. I also garnished the soup with chopped chives to add color and flavor."

Honey Mustard Dressing

Makes nearly 5 cups

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup prepared mustard

3/4 cup white vinegar

2 cups salad oil

1/4 tablespoon dry mustard

finely chopped onion, optional

Mix ingredients well.

Tester Reiley's comments: "I'm not sure how close this dressing is to that served at the Outback Steakhouse, but it is a pleasant, tangy salad dressing. The quantity is far more than one big salad requires, so I would be inclined to cut the recipe in half at the very least. I used Dijon mustard, which adds a little more intense mustard flavor to the dressing, which is a bit sweet. The quantity of dry mustard could be increased if a more piquant, mustardy flavor is desired. The dressing went nicely with a simple green salad of bibb lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber."

Recipe requests

* Lois Moffitt of Aberdeen, N.C., wants an applesauce cake with caramel icing that she heard about on a television show. "Tennessee Ernie Ford was on [the show] with this cake his mother had made. I hope you can find it."

* Carol Husband of Hunker, Pa., writes: "I read your column in the Greensburg Tribune Review and enjoy it very much. Oftentimes it brings back memories of another time. I make nut and poppy-seed rolls and I use commercial poppy-seed filling, which is OK but not like homemade. My mother was an excellent baker and used to make poppy-seed filling from scratch, [but] I never got the recipe. Would any of your many readers possibly have a poppy-seed filling recipe?"

* Cheryl Warren of Baltimore is seeking a recipe for cannoli filling.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pub Date: 02/10/99

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