Thursday, June 17, 2010


My summer beach pal, Kathy, asked me to blog oysters rockefeller. A very important requirement for oysters is to eat them only in the months that end in "R" or if you happen to be in a place where they live i.e., Washington State, New England and many foreign cities where the waters are always cold. The other months of the year could pose a problem because the waters they live in get warm and it gets a bit questionable as to their freshness and may even make you sick.
If you have ever been to a raw bar and watched the oyster "shucker" at work, you know it isn't a very easy deal. So when you buy your oysters, ask your fish monger the shuck them for you. If they won't, I explain how to shuck them below, but add extra time to your recipe.
There are any number of ingredients you can add to the "stuffing" so experiment if you like oysters. Here is what I think is the basic stuffing. If you choose fresh spinach add it with parsley. If you choose cooked spinach, you just need to warm it up so add it with the hot sauce and pepper.
24 oysters
2 slices bacon
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 large shallots minced
2 tbl fresh minced Italian parsley
3 tbl unsalted butter
2 cups fresh chopped spinach or 1-1/2 cups frozen thawed cooked spinach
1/4 cup Pernod or other anise liqueur
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus 2 tbl
3 tbl olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dashes of hot sauce
pepper to taste
rock salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Thoroughly wash the oysters. If you have an oyster knife or a blunt tipped knife pry open the shells. You may want to wear an oven mitt or glove to hold the oysters. Remove oyster from the shell and dry. Discard the top shell and rinse the bottom shell. Place the oyster in the clean bottom shell. You can also briefly poach the oysters in their shells so they open a bit and then remove the oysters. Set aside clean oysters in their bottom shells.
In a saute pan cook bacon until crisp and drain and set aside. Crumble the bacon into small pieces. Empty the pan of juices and wipe clean. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add parsley and cook 2 minutes. (If using fresh spinach add here).
Add Pernod to the pan and deglaze. Add hot sauce, pepper to taste and 2 tbl panko breadcrumbs (here is where you add cooked spinach). Cook until Pernod is reduced and mixture well combined. Let cool a bit.
Meantime combine 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and olive oil in a bowl.
Spoon a tsp of the bacon, spinach filling on top of each oyster. Sprinkle the breadcrumb and paremesan cheese mixture on top of that.
Line a baking sheet with a good amount of rock salt. This helps flavor and keeps oysters from tipping over. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until edges start to curl. Serve warm.
Garnish serving platter with lemon wedges which is wonderful to squeeze on top of the oysters.
Thanks for asking Kathy!!!!!

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