The most important factors in preparing Oyster Stew are to NOT BOIL the milk and DO NOT OVERCOOK the oysters.
Drain the oysters, reserving their liquor. NOTE- I like to strain the oyster liquor with a fine strainer to remove any sand.
In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add oysters; simmer very gently for about 2 to 4 minutes or until the edges of the oysters curl.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan over low heat, slowly heat the milk, cream, and oyster liquor (do not boil). Slowly add the milk to the oysters, stirring gently. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
Remove from heat. Serve in warm soup bowls and garnish each bowl with parsley, chives, or green onions and a generous pat of butter.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.