Brennan’s of Houston Chile Fried Gulf Oysters

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Chile corn sauce:

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup Texas onion, julienned
3/4 cup poblano pepper, roasted, stemmed, seeded and julienned
3/4 cup red bell pepper, julienned
1-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup tequila
1- 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chile powder
salt and black pepper to taste

Fried oysters:

3 cups Chile Corn Sauce
vegetable oil
3 cups sweet potatoes, julienned
3/4 cup cornmeal or masa harina
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Creole seafood seasoning
36 Texas oysters


Prepare Chile Corn Sauce:

Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, poblano and red peppers and the corn. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Deglaze the pan with tequila and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream, cumin and chile powder and cook until the mixture has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve and keep warm until ready to use.

For the oysters:

Heat about 2″ of the oil to 325F in a deep fat fryer. Fry the sweet potatoes until crisp, then drain them on paper towels and reserve.

Combine the cornmeal, flour and 1 Tbsp. of the seafood seasoning in a medium bowl. Season the oysters with the remaining tablespoon of seafood seasoning and dredge the oysters in the flour mixture. Fry in batches of 9 oysters at a time until crisp. Remove the oysters and sprinkle them with a little extra seafood seasoning, then drain them on paper towels on a rack. Keep warm.

To plate:

Ladle 1/2 cup of the Chile corn sauce into the center of each plate. Edge the sauce with 6 oysters, then top the sauce with a mound of fried sweet potatoes.

Recipe from Chef Carl Walker, Brennans of Houston – Texas Department of Agriculture.