Welcoming 2021 with Home-cooked Wholesomeness! (January 3 – January 9, 2021)

We have so much to look forward to in 2021! Let’s shake off the most challenging Last Year – oh, it is so grand to write that. We did learn a few special things Last Year, home is safety and our kitchen tables exude essential togetherness with our immediate families. So, let’s keep the best of Last Year, as we move forward. Try my Oyster Soup to kick-start a great year ahead, keeping our most special home-style dining. Begin with the Oysters (a dozen). Clean the Oysters and remove the tough tissue that attaches to the shell. No one wants to “chew” their soup. Keep the Oysters cold until the broth is ready. In a small soup pot, melt a half stick of butter. Add 1 celery stick (finely diced) and 1 shallot (finely diced). Add the leaves only (no stems) of Thyme (about 1 tablespoon). Sauté until tender. Add ¼ more of a stick of butter. Then, add 1 crush garlic clove. After no more than 1 minute, turn up the heat to high and once boiling add 1/3 cup of Cream Sherry. Deglaze the pan by stirring with a wooden spoon, as this bubbles up. TURN DOWN THE HEAT. (You don’t want to burn it – just deglaze it.) Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour and stir vigorously to make the Roux. The Roux should simmer for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile heat 2 to 3 cups of Whole Milk in the Microwave (I do 1 cup at a time to keep the milk hot as you add it, little by little, to the Roux in the pot). Little by little add the HOT milk to the Roux, stirring vigorously to incorporate the liquid. ONLY ADD ENOUGH MILK, TO THE THICKNESS THAT YOU WANT. LIGHTLY salt with kosher salt. You want to taste the oysters, not the salt. Now, strain this broth before adding the oysters. (Without straining you will have the tiny bits of celery, shallot, and thyme leaves.) Add the prepared oysters. Only simmer the oysters for 8 to 10 minutes. This is SIMMERING, NOT BOILING. (Don’t over-cook the oysters.) Welcome 2021 with this exceptional soup. Its inspiration is from the sea and its wholesomeness will sustain your very special family. © Kelly McBride Loft

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