A Dant Family Recipe: Scalloped Oysters
When we think about Thanksgiving, we think about the traditions made with family and time spent around the table with our favorite people. Everyone celebrates the holiday differently and traditions come in a multitude of ways. Some wake early to run a 5k while others stay dressed in their PJs to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Some travel long distances to be with family, while others keep it close to home. For the Dant family, traditions begin with the recipes.
There’s always that one dish that has to be included in the Thanksgiving menu. For the Dant’s, it’s Scalloped Oysters. It’s not your traditional cheesy casserole, but it’s one that has graced Thanksgiving tables in the South for decades. The casserole is full of delicious flavor with a balance of texture. Amy Dant, let us in on her grandmother’s, ‘Sudie’ Dant, secret recipe.
1 stick butter
2 pints oysters with juice
1 sleeve saltine crackers crushed (by hand while still in the sleeve)
Worcestershire Sauce (about 6 shakes)
Tabasco Sauce (about 5-7 shakes)
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 c Half and Half
Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole. Drain the oysters, but reserve the liquid. Warm the liquid in a pan (but do not boil). If the oysters are large, cut them into bite-size pieces. Spread the half-crushed saltines on the bottom of the casserole then spread the oysters over the crackers. Pour the warmed liquid over the oysters. Sprinkle the sauces, pepper, and salt over the oysters. Top with the rest of the crushed crackers. Cut butter in small slices or pats and distribute evenly over the top of the crackers. Pour the Half and Half over all. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to absorb the liquid. If it looks dry, add more half and half. You want the mixture to look wet, but not like crackers floating in soup. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour or until the middle is set and the color is golden brown.