Dave Coakley from Baltimore was looking for the recipe for the oyster stew that is served at the Peppermill restaurant in Towson. He said it "is the best I've tasted." I contacted the restaurant and spoke with Rick Ziegel, the owner of the Peppermill, and he graciously agreed to share his restaurant's recipe. He says he frequently makes this at home himself and was kind enough to help me modify the recipe for the home cook.
He told me that at the restaurant they make large quantities of the soup base and steam the oysters separately. They then add 10 oysters to each bowl of soup before serving. No wonder Coakley is such a fan of their stew. With 10 oysters in each serving and all that butter and heavy cream, how could it not be wonderful? This is very quick and easy to make; just be careful not to let the cream boil and watch that you don't let the oysters over cook.
Pat Carden from Aberdeen Proving Ground is looking for a recipe for peanut butter pie. She said about 40 years ago, her niece made this pie and it was like no other. It looked like pumpkin pie but had a much thicker consistency. She said that it was not fluffy like the whipped peanut butter pies you find today.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.
The Peppermill's oyster stew
Makes: 4-6 servings
1/2 cup unsalted butter (divided use)
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 tablespoons clam base (see note)
1 quart heavy cream
1 pint raw oysters with their liquid (jarred or freshly shucked)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and celery and cook until tender. Reduce heat and add the heavy cream and clam base to pan. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Stir continuously until the oysters begin to curl at the ends. When the oysters curl, the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter is melted into the stew. Ladle into individual warmed bowls and season generously with freshly ground pepper.
Note: Clam base is a clam-flavored bouillon paste that's sold in a jar alongside other bouillon. (Better Than Bouillon is one national brand.) It can be found locally at Wegman's or check the company's website at http://www.superiortouch.com/retail/products/better-than-bouillon