What’s an Oyster Festival without Fried Oysters? On the first weekend in November, downtown Urbanna is filled with booths of vendors selling fried, baked, steamed and raw oysters. For me, the best oysters of all are fried by yours truly in the kitchen of our group’s cottage. My secret? Local, fresh oysters, House Autry Breading and a Waring Pro Commercial Grade Fryer.
I believe the fryer is key.
Several years ago, knowing that I love to fry things, my wife Nancy gave me the Waring Pro Fryer with a deep basket, like commercial restaurants. It is a wonderful piece of equipment. You set the temperature and it stays there.
A peril of frying anything is to have the oil too hot or too cold. If it’s too hot, it burns – too cold and the food is greasy. I like to deep fry oysters at 375, so you set the temperature, it “pings’ when it reaches 375 and it doesn’t get hotter or colder. It’s perfect. Put 12 or 14 battered oysters in the basket, lower into the 375-degree oil and in less than 5 minutes, the oysters float to the top, golden brown and ready to eat. We had 8 in our party for dinner, and with the help of my Sous Chef, Guido Lamonaca, we fried a quart and a half of local, Rappahannock River oysters in less than a 30 minutes and even after you’ve spread the fried oysters on a paper towel, there is very little oil on the towel. The hot oil in the fryer seals in the juices of the oysters, it doesn’t make them greasy.
The other important factor in a great batch of fried oysters is House Autry Seafood Breading. It’s all you need. Simply roll the raw oysters in the breading until well coated, set aside on a tray and drop them into the fryer as needed.
If you like to fry things, treat yourself to a Waring Pro Deep Fryer and get perfect results every time.
Deep Fried Oysters
12 fresh oysters per person
1 gallon Wesson Vegetable Oil
1 bag Hose Autry Seafood Breading
Set the fryer on 375, and cook a dozen oysters at a time. When they float to the top, they’re done. Serve with tartar sauce and enjoy!