1 leek, mostly just the white part
1 pint of shucked oysters
2 strips of bacon
1 cup skim milk*
1 cup heavy cream *
4 T butter, approximately
salt - about 3/4 tsp, but do it to your taste
pepper -- white pepper if you have it, about 3 shakes or to taste
paprika, at least 1/2 teaspoon, more if you want -- I used Smoked Spanish paprika
1. Prepare the leek. I discarded the outer leaves of the leek because they were the dirtiest and toughest, then sliced off most of the green part, cut it in half lengthwise and rinsed it thoroughly under running water, then chopped each half into about 1/4 inch pieces.
2. Fry the bacon. I used a large cast iron skillet. Remove bacon from pan, leaving all residual grease.
3. Add about 2 T butter to the pan to supplement the bacon grease, and start sauteeing the leeks. Add salt and pepper.
4. Drain liquid from the oysters into a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Add the milk and cream and begin heating. Add the paprika.
5. If the leeks seem to have absorbed most of the butter, add another 2 T. Pour the oysters into the skillet with the leeks and cook just until the oysters curl at the edges. Do not overcook. **
6. When the liquid is hot, either add the leeks and oysters to the saucepan or, if using a large enough skillet like my chicken fryer, pour the liquid into the skillet. Taste and add more seasoning if you want.
7. Remember that bacon you fried earlier? Cut it up into pieces and put some in a bowl. Then ladle in the stew, making sure to get plenty of oysters!
*I usually have skim milk and cream on hand. If you have whole milk, you could use 1-1/2 cups of whole milk and just 1/2 cup cream, or even all whole milk, in a pinch.
**The shucked oysters I got this time were quite plump, which is one reason I sizzled them separately before joining them back up with the liquid. If you get small oysters, they could cook right in the liquid once it has heated. Do not add them at the beginning, though, or you're likely to overcook them.