Tips and Recipes 

The Tides Inn is known for wonderful Chesapeake Bay cuisine and a bounty of fresh, seasonal items sourced from local farmers and watermen. Guests are invited to re-create these simple recipes at home for a taste of the Tides. 

 THE ART OF THE SHUCK

BY EXECUTIVE CHEF TV FLYNN

Eating oysters is a time-honored tradition in Virginia.  An oyster roast is more than just a meal, it is a time to come together with friends and family to laugh, play, unplug and unwind.  Here at the Tides, enjoying oysters is exceptionally special – truly an opportunity to celebrate the bounty of what our region has to offer.  There is community and fun in the art of the shuck!

As the executive chef here at the Tides Inn, I believe it is crucial to get out on the water with local oystermen and understand the product we are serving. Our Rappahannock River Oysters have a taste like no other with a slightly sweet, briny flavor, further enhanced by fire roasting and delicious mignonettes.

If you haven’t shucked an oyster before or if you are a little rusty, recognize that shucking fresh oysters requires a bit of knowledge, some good tools and good old fashioned practice.  

  • To ensure that your oysters are fresh and ready to eat, make sure the oyster shell is closed, the oyster feels heavy and it smells both salty and sweet. If you find one of these to be untrue, the oyster is probably expired and unsafe to eat.  
  • Get prepared with some tools of the trade, so to speak: a glove, bristled brush, oyster knife, some running water and bed of ice.  
  • You can begin by brushing the oyster to remove any debris on the outside followed by a rinse of the oyster in cool running water.  
  • Then, with the cupped side down, insert the knife into the hinge – and with a little pop and twist followed by a run of the blade around the edge – you can carefully separate top shell from bottom.  

Enjoy!

LANCASTER LEMONADE

1 part vodka
1 part lemonchello
1/2 ea fresh lemon (squeezed)
Fill with ginger ale

Add lemon wheels to beverage, and garnish with fresh lemon balm and a lemon wedge.

She Crab Soup

1 ea diced onion
4 stalks diced celery
2 ea minced carrots
1 oz bacon grease
1/2 cup Harvey’s cream sherry
2 pint heavy cream
1 pint milk
1 pint water
2-3 oz crab base
1/2 tsp mace
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp white pepper
4 oz roux (as needed)

For Sachet
2 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp white peppercorns
2 ea bay leaves
1 oz lump crab per cup

In a large kettle, sauté mirepoix in bacon grease. Deglaze with 1/2 of the sherry. Add milk, cream, water, crab base, seasonings and sachet. Simmer and thicken with roux. Continue cooking 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove sachet. Quickly cool by storing in shallow lexan containers. (Portion size 6 oz – Yield 1 quart)

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes

2 lbs lump crabmeat
2 whole eggs
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp Old Bay
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cracker crumbs

Pick through the crabmeat to check for shell pieces. Be careful not to break up the lumps. Place in a bowl and add the Old Bay, dry mustard, parsley and cracker crumbs. Gently mix. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Whisk to mix and pour over the crabmeat mixture. Mix lightly and portion. Sauté to order.