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Chesapeake Oyster Stew for Two

2 slices bread, rustic
2 anchovy fillets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oysters, fresh from the Chesepeake if you can get them
14 cup oyster liquor
1 stalk celery, with leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ounce sherry wine
12 teaspoon paprika
1 cup half-and-half


Preheat oven to 400F. Bring water to boil in the bottom half of a double boiler. Lightly toast the two slices of bread. Remove the bread slices from the oven and spread with the butter/anchovy mixture. While the bread is toasting, bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler. When the water is boiling, place the top of the double boiler on the bottom, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the top (begins to sound like gibberish). Add one tablespoon of butter, the oysters, the oyster liquor, the celery, Worcestershire sauce and sherry. Stir constantly and do not allow the stew to boil. As soon as the edges of the oysters start to curl, add the cream and stir. Place the buttered bread in the oven and toast till anchovy butter is melted and 'crostinis' start to brown. When stew is close to, but NOT boiling, remove from heat, remove and discard celery and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour into two bowls. Divide the remaining tablespoon of butter between the two bowls and garnish with paprika. Serve with anchovy toasts. While you are dishing out the stew, have your guest open the champagne.

Source: www.food.com