Welcome to my Kentucky kitchen! It’s an honor to be included in this series on this blessed Thanksgiving! It’s such a special holiday, especially for us southern foodie folks!
Today I’m going to prepare a recipe that was given to me by my dear friend, Miss Sammie Quiggins, (she’s one of Kentucky’s finest cooks, and a dear, sweet woman). I’ve put my own spin on it, and it’s become a family favorite in the past few years!
Kentuckians have a special relationship with oysters. We’re landlocked, and far from the ocean, but we consume about as many oysters as anybody, and have since the Victorian era–must be our Irish bloodlines! My traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dish is scalloped oysters.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
two pints fresh shucked oysters
large box of buttery crackers
couple sticks of butter
course ground black pepper
heavy whipping cream
country ham scraps
hickory flavored marinade
This is NOT a low calorie or low fat recipe! It’s the holidays–lighten up!
Directions, with a few tips, tricks and notes from me:
Take country ham scraps and soak them in a measuring cup with bourbon, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of hickory smoke marinade.
My preferred ingredients:
Country ham: Finchville, Broadbent or Scott’s
Worcestershire sauce: Lea and Perrins
Hickory smoke marinade: Allegro
Let that set all day if you can, but 2 or 3 hours will do the trick.
The oak/vanilla of the Bourbon and the fat/salt of the country ham works well with oysters. This dish is a total Umami bomb!
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 10 X 10 oven dish with butter.
I recommend using a “Paula Dean amount” of butter, y’all!
Crush 2 cups of buttery crackers and put one layer in the dish.
My preferred crackers: Ritz or Towne House
Open the oysters and save about a quarter cup of the oyster liquid in a measuring cup.
Lay a layer of oysters in the bed of cracker crumbs, and sprinkle some black pepper over that layer.
Add more cracker crumbs, and the remainder of your oysters, and more black pepper. Cover that with more cracker crumbs, several pats of good quality butter, and more black pepper.
Take your oyster liquid, and add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of the hickory smoke marinade and fill the rest of the measuring cup with your heavy whipping cream.
Stir, and pour over your cracker crumb topped oysters until your baking dish is almost full.
Take your country ham scraps, and scatter them across the top of the dish, and sprinkle on a generous amount of smoked paprika.
My preferred paprika: I only use Bourbon Barrel Foods smoked paprika from Louisville. It’s amazing, and adds a smoky richness, and beautiful color to the dish.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
You’d better sample the first spoonful, because it’s going to go FAST! It’s such a rich, and special dish that is perfect for the holidays!
My personal drink pairing:
In Ireland (I’m 37% Irish), the tradition is to eat oysters while drinking Guinness or Murphy’s Stout. Since I’m in Kentucky, I’m paring my dish with Goodwood Brewing Co.’s Bourbon Barrel Stout. It’s a wonderful stout made in Louisville, aged in old bourbon barrels, and it complements the briny goodness of the oysters, and the savory salty fat of the country ham.
I’ve used as many Kentucky-made products as I possibly could in the recipe, because I am Kentucky proud! Of course, we don’t grow oysters here, but we sure love ’em!
My family’s cooking playlist:
Hey! Y’all want to talk about music? I’m not really a chef…I’m a bass player with a cooking habit! Here’s my perfect playlist to crank up while cooking this dish, and tossing back a couple Goodwood Bourbon Barrel stouts. Well, I’m a family guy, so I let my family help with this one.
I picked “Linus and Lucy” by The Vince Guaraldi Trio. I grew up on Peanuts, and A Charlie Brown Christmas is a HUGE part of my holiday celebrations. What a funky groove–classic!
My beautiful wife Angie chose “Christmas Day at My House” by Patty Loveless. It’s a perfect picture of Kentucky at Christmas, and it’s right around the corner! We love Patty’s music; she’s the best, and a Kentucky hero of ours. And, what my wife says, GOES!
My son Ethan chose the song “Marquee Moon” by Television. Television was the first band to ever play CBGB’s in New York. We like a lot of underground music, and we love to crank this song up on vinyl when we’re all together. The guitar work on the track is super infectious, and the band has some Kentucky roots, too!
My dear sister, Alicia, chose “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra. She’s first class, and that’s classic, classy music. What a song for the holidays–it’s as cool as it gets.
My sweet little girl, Anna, chose the last song. She loves Kelsea Ballerini, and she keeps us entertained emulating her new country heroes! She chose the song “Peter Pan,” I think it’s a blast to listen to, and it makes my baby girl happy, and that’s what the holidays are all about!
I’m sure thankful for all of you, and the support you’ve given Jericho Woods in the past year. Check out our latest single “Better Now”, and hopefully we can talk food and music again soon. Love y’all, and Happy Thanksgiving! Cheers and God bless!
Jericho Woods was beyond proud to be chosen by Kentucky Living magazine readers as the “Best Currently Performing KY Musical Group.” The news came just a few days before they were also select by Hard Rock from the 7,000 applicants to become one of five finalists in the Hard Rock Rising Competition which they won on June 1st in Louisville. This five person group is currently on the road promoting their debut album Same Ol’ Dirt which premiered in the Top 8 on the Billboard Heatseeker Charts and in the Top 25 on the iTunes Country Album Chart. To date, they have been featured in the following: Billboard, CMA Close Up, Kentucky Living, Music Row, Nashville Country Club, Nashville Music Guide, The Daily Country and the Amplifier. They are endorsed byRisen Amps, NS Design and MJC Ironworks. Members: Josh Mitcham (guitar & vocals), Paul Priest (bass & vocals), Jory Hutchens (fiddle), Dustin Spencer (drums) and Stan Nickell (guitarist). They are currently in the studio with Grammy Award winning Skidd Mills (Sister Hazel, Skillet & Third Day).