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Jim Mercer's scalloped oysters


1 quart freshly shucked oysters with their juice

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups cracker crumbs

1 1/2 cups unflavored bread crumbs

4 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a 10-inch pie dish or casserole pan. Strain the oysters, reserving the juices. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Place the cracker and bread crumbs in a bowl and stir to mix. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix to combine.

In a bowl, combine the heavy cream with the reserved oyster juice. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with one-third of the crumb mixture. Arrange 1/2 the oysters over the crumbs. Spoon half the cream mixture over the oysters. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Repeat with a layer of crumbs, the remaining oysters, cream, and seasoning, finishing with a layer of the remaining crumbs.

Bake uncovered in the hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the oysters are hot and the crumbs are toasted. Remove from the oven and serve at once.

Adapted from chef Jim Mercer.

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