A labor of love and patience
Once in awhile I have a hankering for some fried oysters – gluten-free (in crumbs — not batter). They are not available in restaurants, so, I recently took matters into my own hands and experimented. I took the knowledge of frying clams at a summer takeout restaurant decades ago and applied them here, and after a few tries, received rave reviews. It’s a bit messy and time consuming, but oh so satisfying!
Keep the frying temperature at 375° F or at a high enough temperature so that the oysters cook in about 3 minutes. When they turn brown, they are done. I tend to flip them but am not sure it is necessary — the less handling the better. In restaurants the cook lowers the oysters or clams into the hot oil in wire baskets, but at home I use a spatula with holes, and/or tongs.
1 pound of fresh shucked oysters, drained
In a shallow bowl – like a cereal bowl – place:
1 cup corn flour (not cornstarch) — approximate
In another small bowl or cup, pour:
½ cup milk (You may need to add a bit more).
In a food processor, place:
1 package of gluten-free table crackers, about 3.5 ounces, broken into pieces (I used ½ package of Glutino crackers)
10 rice crackers
¼ cup cornmeal — optional
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, a little salt and pepper
In a deep pot or fry pan, place enough Canola oil to completely cover the oysters, when they are submerged.
I purchased a small electric fry-pan which, unfortunately, did not have the temperature settings on the control. But with a little experimentation, I was able to determine the correct frying setting.
Prepare a large platter or two dinner plates with a double layer of paper towels on which to place the fried oysters as they come out of the fryer.
Heat the oil to temperature.
Place 4 – 5 oysters in the corn flour and gently turn them with your fingers until coated.
Then dip into the milk quickly and then into the cracker mixture, again turning them until coated. Your fingers will be caked with flour and cracker meal.
Carefully place 4 – 5 prepared oysters in the hot oil, so they are not crowded, and cook until lightly browned. If you are using a larger pan you may cook more oysters at a time.
Remove them from the hot oil with a metal slotted spoon or spatula, so the excess oil drips back into the fryer and place on the prepared platter. Remove all oysters from the fryer, then repeat the process with another 4 – 5 oysters. I place the platter of cooked oysters in a 200° F oven while cooking the remaining oysters, until all are done and ready to serve.
Serve with a little tartar sauce or sprinkle lightly with salt if desired.