We are excited to kick off a new spin on the Local Flavor section of Lynchburg Living. Each issue, we will put local dishes and their creators in the spotlight. It’s a chance to give them some kudos while giving you some fresh, attainable ideas for your kitchen.
Lisa Woodroof is the proud mother of a “super-kindergartener” and wife to a “local Lynchburg-ian.” In her previous life, she owned a restaurant on the Rappahannock River and a catering business in Northern Virginia. These days, you will find Lisa working as a proposal manager by day but chef extraordinaire come dinnertime.
Lisa writes a fabulous food blog called Bourbon in the Kitchen (www.bourboninthekitchen.com) and is published in the book A Taste of Virginia History.
She warns when you try one of her recipes, you may never be the same!
10 Steps to Perfectly Fried Oysters, Every Time
1 quart of Virginia Oysters
8 cups of flour or House of Autry
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup of Old Bay, Chesapeake Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of course ground black pepper
Pinch of Cayenne (Optional if you like spicy)
6 large eggs
50-60 ounces of cooking oil
Step 1: Pour the quart of oysters into a strainer and drain for five minutes (do not rinse oysters).
Step 2: Pull out a large platter and prepare the southern seasoned breader by combining the House of Autry Seafood Breader, panko, Old Bay seasoning, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne.
Fork together the ingredients.
Step 3: Beat your six eggs and place nearby the breader platter.
Step 4: Place your drained oysters into your egg mix (if you have small eggs, you may need to add more eggs). Oysters should be well submersed. Lightly move around your oysters in the eggs to ensure they are coated well.
Step 5: Grab a pair of kitchen tongs, and place your oysters in that mixed southern seasoned breader one at a time. Using a fork, make sure each oyster is coated (not drenched in thick breader but coated). Move those tasty oysters to a clean large platter (I put parchment paper down on the platter first). Once all oysters are breaded, place this platter in your freezer for 5-8 mins just before frying.
Step 6: Fire up the deep fryer or get a deep cooking pan and add enough oil where you have approximately 1.5-2 inches of standing oil. If you are doing this on your stove, remember that your oil should be somewhere between 360 to 375 degrees for frying. Medium to high temperature will get you there on the stove top.
Step 7: Pull out your cocktail sauce. Do yourself a favor and kick up the recipe: add a pinch of cayenne, Old Bay, black pepper and a smidgen of horseradish. Squeeze a lemon slice too. Tartar sauce: add a pinch of cayenne, Old Bay, black pepper, squeeze a lemon slice, and toss in fresh parsley.
Step 8: Drop a test oyster into your pan/fryer to confirm your oil is good to go. If your oil isn’t hot enough, your oysters will be soggy. If it’s too hot, you will burn them. Bring over each oyster individually allowing enough space in the pan between each oyster for frying.
Step 9: Place cooked oysters on a large platter (I like to drain the oil by placing paper towels down on the platter). But immediately pinch sea salt over while the oysters are hot. (This is an important tip).
Step 10: Have someone pour your favorite beverage and serve these hot and amazing oysters, with a pinch of sea salt and that Old Bay on top. Don’t forget to scoot over the kicked-up cocktail and tartar too.
By Lisa Woodroof