Champagne Oyster Stew
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 shallots, minced
1 ½ cups champagne or other sparkling wine
One pint shucked oysters
32 ounces clam juice
1 cup half-and-half
For the garnish:
4 teaspoons minced fresh chives
4 teaspoons chopped fresh chervil or parsley
Fresh ground white pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large sauté pan and add shallots. Cook briefly, not allowing them to color.
Add the wine and gently boil over medium-high heat to reduce by two-thirds.
Add clam juice and simmer to reduce by half.
Add half-and-half and reduce until slightly thickened.
Add oysters and poach until they are just barely heated, about 3 minutes. Do not let the soup boil.
Spoon into warm, shallow bowls and sprinkle with the fresh herbs and white pepper.
Adapted by Judy Stein from “The Best American Recipes 1999” by Fran McCullough and Suzanne Hamlin