Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
"Oyster loaves" have been served for many decades, though the oysters were not fried, at least in the earlier days; the bread was hollowed out, rather than split; and butter was commonly used, rather than lettuce or tomato. La Médiatrice, or "the peacemaker", was the name given the oyster loaf in New Orleans in the 1800s: "Men out late carousing in the French Quarter brought home the golden toasted loaf, hollowed out and stuffed with hot creamed oysters or perhaps buttery fried oysters, as a peace offering to their jealous wives. The loaves were sold all over the Quarter for pennies. In 19th-century oyster-crazed America, the loaf was known elsewhere too. The original Joy of Cooking (1931) includes a recipe, although by then the loaf had metamorphosed into Creamed Oysters in Bread Cases, which sounds better suited to a ladies' lunch than to making marital amends." From the Southern chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947.
- 1 loaf bread, unsliced
- 2 dozen oysters
- 1⁄2 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon celery, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 drop Tabasco sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut top crust of bread off and scoop out inside.
- Butter 1/3 of the scooped out bread and toast in the oven.
- Fry oysters in butter; add cream, celery, pepper, salt, Tabasco and toasted bread.
- Fill the hollowed loaf with this mixture, cover with top crust and bake for 20 minutes, basting often with oyster liquor.
- Slice and serve hot.