Oysters Carnival Recipe

5 cups onions, minced
1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, minced
4 stalks celery, minced
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
10 tablespoons butter
4 dozen oysters, strained (reserve the liquor) and chopped
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
36 oyster half shells, boiled and scrubbed
18 strips bacon, precooked and crispy, but not too brown, drained, with each strip cut in half
6 lemon wedges for garnish

In an iron skillet sauté the minced onion, garlic, bay, celery and thyme in 6 tablespoons for the butter for about 15 minutes. Add the chopped oysters. Moisten 1 cup of the breadcrumbs with about 1 cup of the oyster liquor. Add to the above. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons butter and cook until the butter is melted.

Fill the oyster shells with the mixture, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs over the top. Top with bacon pieces. To serve, heat the oysters in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot. Serve 6 oysters per portion, and garnish each platter with a lemon wedge.

Serves 6.