Oyster Stew with Caviar


Cream and oyster liquor (the liquid that surrounds the mollusks in their shells) are a rich, flavorful base for this stew, which is enhanced with velvety mascarpone cheese and topped with salmon roe.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 ½ teaspoons very finely chopped shallot

  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, cut into 2-inch julienne, rinsed well

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper

  • 1 medium red potato, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 1 dozen shucked fresh oysters

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

  • Creme fraiche, for serving

  • 4 teaspoons caviar or salmon roe

  • cup strained oyster liquor


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add leek; cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes more. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

  2. Add potato, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in oyster liquor, half-and-half, and cream. Simmer until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add oysters, and gently simmer until edges of oysters are ruffled and potatoes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat. Stir in mascarpone; season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls. Top each with a dollop of creme fraiche and 1 teaspoon caviar.

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