ShuckerPaddy's Hogtown Chowder

A taste of Toronto and both coasts.

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter
  • 6 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 12 large oysters, -BC Beach oysters -shucked
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 slices extra-thick, double-smoked bacon, diced (Lardons)
  • 24 small oysters - Green Gables PEI, shucked
  • 12 panko-crusted oysters, (large PEI, or Blue Point Oysters) for garnish

In a large pot on high heat, boil potatoes in salted water until fork tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, then set aside. - save the potato water for Sourdough starter.
 
In another large saucepan set on low heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Add celery and shallots and sauté without browning, until soft and shallots are translucent, about 10 minutes. Place the 12 large BC oysters on top of the celery mixture. Increase the heat to medium, and cook, for 5 minutes, or until the edges of the oyster ruffle like a tuxedo shirt. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
 
Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of potatoes to the celery mixture and heat through, being careful not to boil. Using a hand blender, puree until the soup is smooth. This is your Oyster Stock base.
 
Add the rest of the milk, and the 24 small oysters, with their liquor to the soup stock, cover and simmer until oysters ruffle and are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. heat through, being careful not to boil the chowder. Stir occasionally while cooking.
 
Line a plate with a paper bag. Heat a heavy frying pan on medium heat. Add bacon and fry until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to the plate to drain.
 
Dredge the large oysters in seasoned flour, egg, panko - for crusting.
Fry the panko crusted oysters in the Bacon pan until golden brown, and set aside on the paper bag to drain.
 
Divide the chowder among six warmed bowls, ensuring that the oysters are evenly distributed. Sprinkle each serving with bacon and garnish with panko-crusted oysters, and a knob of butter.
 
Feel free to add more oysters to each section as you see fit, or less if the in-laws are coming over.

Serves 6