I might even consider eating them cooked.

Submitted by Rachel.

As an oyster-lover that has only taken to the raw variety, I always thought that all I need is a freshly shucked oyster, a touch of lemon, a drop of tabasco, or sometimes, just a nice cold pint. I considered it a crime to the perfect, delicious raw oyster to cook, boil, fry or derange it in any way.

As a fan of Bravo TV's reality show Top Chef, I was thrilled when the semi-finals landed the contestants in New Orleans. The competition among the four finalists was to cook traditional Creole cuisine to be judged by Emeril Lagasse, one of my all-time favorite celebrity chefs. I was glued to the episode when many of the contestants chose to cook with a traditional New Orleans staple, the gulf oyster.

Carla Hall won the competition with her oyster stew, a combination of freshly shucked oysters, bacon and cream. Jeff was a close second with an appetizer of fried oyster with saffron aioli and chorizo. Their recipes looked incredible, and my mouth watered as the judges sampled the fresh, meaty, juicy, perfectly cooked oysters.

Although I am an amateur in the kitchen, I love to experiment with recipes and attempt to re-create great dishes I've had in restaurants. Top Chef is one of my top shows. And more recently, as I've been avoiding the raw bar, I've been interested in finding recipes to cook and enjoy the oysters my husband shucks on a weekly basis. I can't wait to try making Carla's oyster stew, I will let you know what the judge, I mean my husband, thinks!

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