Friday, July 22, 2016

Fried Oyster Puffs

Fried Oyster Puffs

Recipe Provenance
The following recipe comes from a collection of recipes found in a manuscript journal located in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. The manuscript is attributed to Ann Maria Morris and the date of 1824 is written on the inside cover. The recipe below is one of many from the manuscript that will be included in a book I am writing. The book will contain biographical information about Mrs. Morris, an annotated transcript of the entire manuscript as it was written, and a section of modern recipe adaptations (including this one!).

Fried Patties
Mince a bit of cold veal & 6 oysters; mix with a few crumbs of bread, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a very small bit of lemon peel; add the liquor of the oysters; warm all in a [illegible], but do not boil. let it get cold. have ready a good puff paste, roll thin & cut it in round or square bits. Put some of the mince between two of them; twist the edges to keep in the gravy, and fry of a fine brown. This is a very good thing; and baked is a fashionable Dish.

Fried Oyster Puffs: Modern Recipe Adaptation

Note: I changed the name to make it more descriptive

Makes 24 Puffs

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 12 Ounce Container of Shucked Oysters, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Liquor
  • 1/2 Cup Cooked Ground Veal, Cold
  • 1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
  • Grated Peel of Half a Lemon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Sheets Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg
  • Frying Oil/Fat (Lard or Vegetable Shortening/Oil)


1.  Make the Filling: In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Then, add the chopped oysters and cook just a minute or so until the oysters are firm. Add the veal, bread crumbs, spices, and oyster liquor. Bring to a gentle simmer and then reduce the heat to low and cook for five minutes. Remove this hot mixture from the stove and transfer it to a shallow dish. Cover and place in the refrigerator until it is cool. The shallow dish will allow it to cool down quickly and safely. Here is how it should look:

Oyster and Veal Filling

2. Make the Patties: 
  • Cut each sheet of puff pastry into twelve equal size squares. You will have a total of 48 squares. Keep the squares in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Make a ravioli-looking sandwich of two pieces of the pastry with a 1 1/2 teaspoon dollop of the filling placed in the center. Coat the edges of the puff pastry squares with whisked egg to seal the edges. At this point, here is how they should look:

  • Twist the edges closed carefully to keep the filling from oozing out and then twist the edges together. Here are photos showing this:

3.  Fry the Patties: Heat about a one-half inch depth of fat to 350º F in a skillet. Fry the patties until they are golden brown on each side and cooked in the center, about 5-7 minutes per side. They should look like this when done:

Fry until golden brown on each side.

4.  Serve immediately. You can dip these in a sauce of your choosing. Lemon aioli, tartar sauce, and remoulade sauce are good ones to try.

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