Ok, so this weekend I stayed in Yecheon and relaxed (sort of).  Instead of galavanting all around SoKo I decided to keep it local and cook up some "Western" food for my friends.  Saturday night I made Fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms and marinated pan-seared chicken, which turned out good.  This is somewhat difficult to pull off here, since buying enough cheese for a pizza costs almost as much as your heating bill!!!  But, where there's a will there's an A-va. 

Last night I decided to not play it safe with my cooking and opted for an Oyster Stew, since the oysters are so plentiful and delicious looking.  I enjoyed modifying my recipe so it had a Korean flair to it and with good results, I might add.  My Korean and American friends both shoveled the stew down in record time ^^.  You know this Southern Girl was very happy with that outcome! 

So... for my friends that were interested in the recipe, here it is.  Please note that you can add more or less of any vegetables or substitute as you like.  I have a hard time measuring, so I am giving approximations.  Unless baking, I'm more prone to estimating amounts and going by feel rather than precision.  Also, pre-chop vegetables, pre-cook potatoes, pre-rinse oysters, etc... it makes life easier!

OYSTER STEW with a KOREAN KICK

1 medium Onion (chopped finely)
2 sticks Celery (chopped finely)
3 pcs. minced Garlic
1/4 lb Butter
1/4 cup Flour
5 medium White Potatoes (peeled, cut into small cubes)
1/2 lb shucked Oysters with Juice (or more, if you like)
1 lb sliced/diced Mushrooms (your choice on what kind.  I used native Korean mushrooms)
1 can Heineken Beer (or your fave... just remember, oysters are delicate in taste, so the beer shoudn't be too heavy)
1 heaping tablespoon Gochujang 고추장
3 cups Whole Milk (or 2 cups milk, 1 cup cream)
1 cup fresh chopped Parsley
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Preparation: 
~Cut vegetables before-hand: onions, celery, and garlic can go in same bowl. 
~Peel and dice potatoes and cook until just tender.  Set aside for later. 
~Drain oyster juice through fine sieve and reserve in a bowl for later use.  Wash oysters thoroughly.  Set them aside in a bowl.  Pour some Heineken over them, mix, and let sit.
~Dice mushrooms and reserve in separate bowl.

Ready...Set...GO!!!!

Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium heat.  Add flour and reduce heat to med/low, stirring constantly (yes, we're making a roux).  Stir mixture until the color becomes a reddish brown, then add onion/celery/garlic mixture and increase heat to medium.  Stir constantly and cook for approximately 3 minutes.  Add the strained oyster juice and mix thoroughly.  Cook for 2 more minutes. 

Next, slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly.  Then add the mushrooms, gochujang (고추장), potatoes, and 1/2 the can of Heineken.  Stir the ingredients together until the soup becomes a nice creamy orange color (make sure the gochujang (고추장) is thoroughly mixed in).  Turn heat to med/low and let simmer. 

After 10 minutes taste the stew and add salt and pepper as needed.  Let simmer for 30-45 minutes on med/low heat.  Stirring is the name of the game in this recipe, so do it often and keep adding more Heineken while it simmers (one can should be plenty for this, but it's your call!!! ^^). 

Add parsley and oysters to stew 10 minutes before taking off the stove.  Oysters are delicate and should not be overcooked.  When the edges of the oysters curl and their bodies swell (when pressed with a fork they are still soft/fork tender) they are cooked just right. 

Serve with fresh crusty bread (French baguette is nice).

Enjoy!!!!