One of the things I love about cooking is the ability to try a recipe, and then change it up to make it my own. Though, sometimes a recipe is so perfect just the way it started, altering it would seem almost offensive.
Like this simple holiday oyster casserole.
I first got this recipe from a friend in 2001. It’s hard to remember exactly, but I believe at the time I was looking for something to make for a holiday dinner at my future in-laws’ house. She pulled out a few trusted and favorite recipes of her own, and was kind enough to share them with me (and let me share this with you).
In addition to a variation of her cheesy potato soup that I’m still making over a decade later, her oyster casserole is one that I’ve grown to cherish, and it graces our Thanksgiving table every year. It hardly seems like Thanksgiving without it!
This holiday oyster casserole isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to fat and butter, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. For a holiday dinner, who cares—right?
- 2 pints fresh jarred oysters (find them in the seafood section)
- 4 cups medium coarse Saltine cracker crumbs – about 2 sleeves
- 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
- 1-1/2 cups half & half
- 1/2 cup oyster liqueur (the liquid in the oyster jars)
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the oysters, reserving the ½ cup of oyster liqueur.
- In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and butter. Spread ⅓ of the cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9×13″ casserole dish, and then top with ½ of oysters. Sprinkle with pepper. Repeat these steps once more.
- Combine the half & half, oyster liqueur, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over top of the layers in the casserole dish. Top with the remaining crackers.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until top is golden and edges are bubbly.