Smokiness carries a simple oyster bisque

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

Not a true bisque, not a true chowder and yet, not a true stew. But it does have all the taste and consistency of all three. The smokiness of both the cheddar and oysters make this summertime treat perfectly balanced without the additional salt and pepper.

For those who like a little heat in the heat, add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes before pulsing. Otherwise, enjoy this simple, inexpensive yet classy presentation of what we New Englanders are known for. … chowder! Or is it stew? Or bisque?

smoky oyster bisque

Smoky oyster bisque

1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup light cream
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or diced
1 (8-ounce ) can smoked oysters, drained

Boil potatoes, covered with 2 inches of water, on high, until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, over medium heat, melt butter in small skillet. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are softened, stirring often. When potatoes are done, carefully transfer to the bowl of a food processor or blender along with the onion/garlic mixture and light cream. Pulse until smooth, about 10 to 15 seconds on high.

Return the mixture to the same pot as you cooked the potatoes, along with the cheddar cheese. Scald over low heat until thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the oysters and continue scalding for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until oysters are heated through. Remove and serve.

Enough for 2 servings

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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