After digging into Virginia’s culinary history, learn how to make three time-honored recipes from Virginia’s past.
Oysters on Skewers combine the buttery shellfish with mushrooms, coat them with herbs and skewer them to be grilled.
A beverage called Flip was a popular drink in Colonial Williamsburg, sort of an egg cream with rum and ale.
Finally, Cream of Peanut Soup features Virginia peanuts, along with savory flavors like onions, celery and chicken stock, for a delicious soup.
Scroll down for all three recipes, courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.
Oysters on Skewers
- 1 pint of oysters
- 1 pound package whole mushrooms, white or baby portabellas
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- salt to taste
- oil (olive or canola)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, dried or fresh
- 1 cup good quality beef gravy mix with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- metal or bamboo skewers
- BBQ grill
- Remove oysters from package, rinse and drain. Place oysters in a large bowl.
- Remove dirt from mushrooms (wash or rub with a cloth). If they are very large, cut them in half.
- Place mushrooms in the bowl with the oysters.
- Add the pepper, salt, cloves, parsley, basil, thyme, flour and butter into bowl with the oysters and mushrooms. Toss gently with your hands for about 30 seconds until everything is coated.
- Slide the oysters onto a skewer followed by a mushroom. Continue to alternate oyster/mushroom onto the skewers until you have used them all. Remember to leave about 2 inches of skewer unfilled at the bottom so you can pick them up easily.
- Heat your BBQ grill to medium-high heat. Brush the grates with oil so that the oysters don’t stick while cooking.
- Gently roll each skewer into the breadcrumbs and place them on the grill. You can use fresh breadcrumbs if preferred instead of dried. Simply place a large roll or four slices of bread in your food processor to create the soft crumbs.
- Cook skewers on one side for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip them over gently and cook on the other side another 3 to 4 minutes. The oysters should feel soft, but also firm to the touch. How long you cook them depends upon how large they are and how well done you want them. If they are large oysters, increase the time to 5 minutes on each side.
- Heat beef gravy and add lemon juice. Pour into bottom of large platter. Place skewers on top and serve.
Classic Colonial-Style Flip Beverage
- 2 eggs
- 2 ounces rum
- 8-10 ounces brown ale
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar or molasses
- nutmeg, to garnish
- Fill a pitcher with 2 beaten eggs, 2 ounces of rum and a tablespoon of superfine sugar or molasses and beat to combine.
- In a saucepan, heat 8 to 10 ounces of brown ale over a low flame until it begins to steam.
- Slowly pour the warm beer into the rum-egg mixture, and then pour the drink back and forth between the vessels until blended.
- Decant into a pint glass, shave some nutmeg over the top, and serve.
Cream of Peanut Soup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 8 cups Chicken Stock* (or low-salt canned chicken stock)
- 2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 ¾ cups light cream or half-and-half
- salted peanuts, finely chopped
*For Chicken Stock recipe, see The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook, available at williamsburgmarketplace.com.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes longer.
- Pour in the chicken stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Pour into a sleeve set over a large bowl and strain, pushing hard on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible Return the liquid to the saucepan or pot.
- Whisk the peanut butter and cream into the liquid. Warm over low heat, whisking often, for about 5 minutes. Do not boil.
- Serve warm, garnished with chopped peanuts.