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Whitney Pipkin, writes about food, agriculture and the environment. She lives in Alexandria, VA, and is a fellow of the Institute for Journalists of Natural resources and blogs at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

From-the-Bay recipes for Thanksgiving Day

  • November 22, 2013
When trying to please non-oyster lovers in the crowd, bacon — and baking — is always a good idea. (Whitney Pipkin) Try serving oysters on the half-shell as an appetizer, if you've already got your Thanksgiving menu set. (Whitney Pipkin)

If you’re like me, you’ve been anticipating the eating fest that is Thanksgiving for several weeks by now. You’ve already planned your menu, painstakingly sourced the best turkey and even test run a dry brine recipe you’d like to try on the bird.

No? Not like me? Good. Then I won’t be throwing a wrench into your menu plan by suggesting this: how about a side of Chesapeake Bay?

What better way to show off where you live to out-of-town guests than to feature the Bay’s bounty at your table? OK, this time of year it’s mostly oysters — but, oh, the things you can do with oysters!

My folks will be coming in from landlocked Kansas for the big event, though I’m afraid my dad and I are the only oyster-eaters of the bunch. When he visited us in Washington state, we spent an afternoon grilling oysters and dousing them in garlic-butter sauce, with our spouses grimacing in the distance.

My husband recently had a change of heart about that slimy seafood of the season — when he tried oysters topped with bacon-and-leek cream sauce. We participated in a LivingSocial cooking class in D.C. that was part of Food Day, so I couldn’t be blamed for selecting the menu — and we were starved.

For those who don’t appreciate a good bivalve, hosts can still take advantage of other Bay offerings like blue crabs (if you can afford them). As we wrote recently, it’s been a rough year for Maryland’s signature seafood. But the heightened fat content that comes with colder waters this time of year makes the crabmeat extra rich.

Saveur Magazine has a full menu laid out for you if you want to devote the entire feast to Chesapeake watershed offerings, from an oyster-hominy dressing (recipe below) to oysters with a cranberry-horseradish relish and local vegetable sides to boot. And check out this Pinterest page of recipes for dozens of ideas (warning: it will make you hungry).

If your table is already set, consider serving baked oysters hot out of the oven as an appetizer, or set them out on the half shell for snacking. Let us know your favorite Chesapeake Bay recipes in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook. Bon Appétit!

Oysters Chesapeake


  1 tablespoon minced chives
  2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  1/8 teaspoon salt
  1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)
  1 (6 1/2-ounce) can lump crabmeat, undrained
  1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  1 teaspoon butter, melted
  12 shucked oysters
  Lemon wedges (optional)
  Fresh minced chives (optional) 


  • Preheat broiler.
  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir gently.
  • Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter in a small bowl.
  • Arrange oysters on a broiler pan. Spoon about 1 tablespoon crab mixture over each oyster; sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon breadcrumb mixture. Broil 7 minutes or until tops are browned and oysters are done. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with chives, if desired.

Recipe from Lorrie Hulston Corvin, Cooking Light 
APRIL 2006

Hominy, Oyster and Sausage Dressing



3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 lb. ground sage-flavored breakfast sausage
3 cups shucked oysters, roughly chopped
2 cups ¾"-cubed country bread
3 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp. finely chopped sage
1 29-oz. can hominy, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

Make the stuffing:

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat; add onion; cook, stirring, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add sausage; cook, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in oysters, bread, parsley, sage, and hominy; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 9" x 13" baking dish, and dot with butter; chill.

Source: Saveur Magazine

See additional recipe ideas from the Chesapeake Bay Trust here.

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About Whitney Pipkin
Whitney Pipkin, writes about food, agriculture and the environment. She lives in Alexandria, VA, and is a fellow of the Institute for Journalists of Natural resources and blogs at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Read more articles by Whitney Pipkin


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