Grace Brosnahan, North Bay Shellfish

I still remember my Oceanography classes at Humboldt State University where I surprised myself by getting a minor in the subject.  I’m attracted to the ocean, I guess many of us are…but I come from Portuguese fisherman stock, so how is it I can retch just hearing people tell stories about being on the ocean?  The waves go up…and down…and up…burp…

So let’s move on to Oysters.  For many years I thought I didn’t like them — going out to dinner with people who scarfed them down raw and snotty — so it wasn’t until Leroy Zerling barbequed some up with his special sauce that I found that I just love oysters.  Especially those small Kumos, I’ve been know to eat a dozen or so at a setting.

Now there are many oyster companies operating on Humboldt Bay and I’ve only had the opportunity to talk to a few of the owners, but Grace Brosnahan I’ve known for years!  but never realized she was married to an oyster-man.  Now you know who I’m going to for my next sack of Kumos!

Check out the website and listen to the interview.

Sebastian Elrite, Aquarodeo Farms

Oyster Tour anyone? If you really want to know where your food comes from, the best thing to do is visit it in person.  That is what Sebastian Elrite’s latest venture offers, a tour by either boat or kayak of oyster beds in Humboldt Bay.  You can go out, harvest your very own oysters and bring them back to the Humboldt Bay Tourism Center, where they will prepare your freshly caught prey.  Learn about how oysters are raised and where all of these little critters end up on dinner plates throughout the U.S.

Aquarodeo website

Humboldt Bay Tourism Center

Listen here

Greg Dale, Coast Seafoods Oysters

To listen to Part 1 of a 2 part interview with Greg Dale from Coast Seafoods click here

To listen to Part 2, click here.

Check out the Coast Seafood website

These are three recipes for Oyster Stew that Greg Dale says are fantastic!  I promise to cook each one of these in the next year — because they do sound delicious…

Timeless Oyster Stew

This is the way oyster stew was originally made– simple ingredients, complex flavor.  I got the basic idea from a cookbook written in the 1800s.  It is so delicious that I was blown away!  No wonder oyster stew is timeless.

1 pt shucked oysters or about 2 dozen in the shell

1 pt heavy cream

4 Tbl butter

pepper and mace to taste

Strain the oysters, and reserve the liquor.  Or shuck the oysters into a bowl with their liquor, and then strain and reserve the liquor.  Rinse and check oysters for bits of shell.  Place oyster liquor and oysters together in a pot.  Heat until boiling, and then cook oysters for five minutes.  Add cream and butter.  Slowly heat until you see the first bubble to indicate boiling.  Remove from heat.  Serve each bowl of stew with pepper and a sprinkling of mace.

Oysters Rockefeller Soup

4 ounces bacon

1 Tbl butter

1/2 cut finely chopped onions


white pepper

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 cups heavy cream

2 doz. freshly shucked oysters, with their liquor

4 cups fresh spinach, cleaned, stemmed and chopped

hot sauce

worchester sauce

In a sauce pan, over medium heat, render the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.  In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onions.  Saute for 30 seconds.  Stir in the heavy creatand bring to simmer.  Add 2 dox oysters with their liquor.  cook for 4 minutes.  Add the spinach and continue to cook for 2 minutes.  Using a hand-held blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.  Before serving season the soup with hot sauce and worchestershire sauce.  To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with bacon.

Oyster Stew

1 qt oysters cut into bite size pieces

1 cup water

1 Tbl celery salt

1 1/2 Tbl garlic powder/granular

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp msg

1 tsp salt

1/2 cube butter

1 qt half & half or canned milk

1 pt 2% milk

Cook everything except butter, half and half and milk to parboil.  Strain oysters, add back nectar partially to taste, add milk butter and warm slowly.