This recipe is inspired by one discussed in an essay by MFK Fisher in her book, Consider the Oyster. It is a lovely dish to be served at the holidays or at a dinner party with a glass of white wine. —Garrett
Round loaf of good-quality crusty bread, 8” around
tinned or canned oysters, (very preferably not “smoked”)
Slice the top off of the loaf of bread, about an inch down. Scoop out the inner bread to make a bowl, and reserve the insides for another use. Make sure to leave a solid inch along the sides. Toast the “bowl” under the broiler for 5-7 minutes until it is dry, but not brown. Leave the broiler on.
Meanwhile, brown the butter over med-high heat in a small saucepan on the stove, waiting for it to foam and smell nutty. As soon as it turns golden-brown, turn off the heat and tip in the oysters, stirring gently to coat them, but being careful not to overheat them and turn them rubbery. Add in the shallots, cracker crumbs, salt and pepper, and thyme, making sure the mixture is incorporated.
Pour the oyster mixture into the bread bowl and replace the top. Brush with the egg and replace under the broiler, turning it down to low. Watch carefully, waiting for the top to turn golden brown and the loaf to be warm. Serve by slicing wedges from the loaf and passing slices of lemon.