2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of potato soup undiluted
1 (2-oz.) jar diced pimiento not drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 (12-oz.) container standard oysters not drained
Saltines or oyster crackers
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Gradually stir in 2 cups milk; cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Reduce heat to low, and stir in cheese and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is hot.
Add oysters and oyster liquor, and simmer 3 minutes or just until edges of oysters begin to curl.
Note: To make ahead, prepare the stew through Step 3. Freeze the mixture in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Heat in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 4.
Choosing the Best: Fresh shucked oysters are found in the seafood department of supermarkets or at seafood markets. We don’t recommend substituting canned oysters in this recipe. Fresh oysters come in 12 oz. containers and range in size from standards (the smallest) to counts (the largest). Standards and selects are the most economical and are the best choices for oyster stew.
A large diced potato can be substituted for the potato soup, and you will need to add an additional 1/2 cup of milk.