Gulf Coast Oyster and Chorizo Stew
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4 ounces chorizo, removed from casing, or in bulk
2 tablespoons butter (cut 1 tablespoon into 6 chunks)
1 cup destemmed, torn or roughly cut Swiss chard
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 quart shucked oysters and their liquor
salt and pepper to taste
Note: The chorizo may be cooked a day ahead. The rest is best if done shortly before serving.
Cook chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking into very small pieces, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside, reserving any oil left in pan.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large sauté pan, add Swiss chard, and lightly sauté for a few minutes until soft. Set aside.
Put cream, milk, and oyster liquor in a large-diameter saucepan and bring just to a boil. Quickly reduce heat to a simmer, add oysters, bring back to a simmer, and cook just until edges of oysters curl, 4 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Season to taste.
To serve, ladle stew into warmed bowls. Top with chorizo, sprinkle with chorizo oil (if any is left), and dot with a nugget of butter. Serves 6.
From the December 2000 article Season’s Eatings.