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Southern Fried Oysters

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This is a classic fried oyster recipe. Americans once ate oysters by the bucketload, even for breakfast. I ate them on cold autumn mornings on Long Island before a day of digging clams, or on a Sunday in winter before a day of football. Since then, oysters have become expensive, but now farmed oysters, which are actually good for the environment, are becoming more plentiful and this is bringing the price down -- making a hearty breakfast of fried oysters in cornmeal, rashers of bacon and some hot coffee more than just a memory. The key to success here is to use good bacon, strong coffee -- and small oysters.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small oysters, in their liquor
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 T. cayenne (less if you'd like)
  • 1 T. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound good bacon

Preparation:

Fry the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy and let drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, mix the cornmeal, cayenne and black pepper together in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and 2-3 tablespoons of the oyster liquor together.

Pick through the oysters to make sure no bits of shell are on them, them dip each one into the egg mixture and then into the cornmeal mixture.

Fry over medium heat until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. You will need to do this in batches so you don't crowd the pan. Drain the oysters on paper towels with the bacon.

Serve at once with hot black coffee, maybe some hash browns and an egg or two. Finish with a piece of fruit and you have yourself a breakfast that'll carry you through to dinner!

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