Sunday, January 10, 2021


My husband loves oysters. . .raw, fried, and baked like these oysters.  He had them in Antoine's Restaurant at the French Quarter in New Orleans, but loves these even more.  He is also very good at shucking the oysters.  It is still oyster season here in eastern Virginia.  The typical liqueur to use in Oysters Rockefeller is anise-flavored Pernod, but we prefer dry Vermouth.

12 live oysters
3 T unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup baby spinach, packed & minced
¼ cup white vermouth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T lemon juice
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 T fresh Italian parsley, minced
2 T fresh arugula or watercress, minced
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
Lemon wedges for serving

Shuck oysters over a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl or glass pitcher to collect the juice.
Save the deeper shell.  Wash and dry them and place an oyster into each of the 12 shells.

Place oysters on a sheet pan in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Melt butter in a large skillet.
Add shallot and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
Add he vermouth, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, and arugula or watercress.
Turn off heat and mix until combined.
Mix in the ¼ cup grated cheese.

Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to slightly solidify.

Remove oysters from refrigerator and drizzle any of the extra juice over each oyster.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a tablespoon of spinach filling on top of each oyster.
Top each oyster with panko bread crumbs.
Top each oyster again with the extra grated cheese.

Place oysters on an oyster baking sheet or a cast-iron skillet with 1-inch of ice cream salt.
Bake oysters for 10 to 12 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Serve oysters on a bed of ice cream salt with lemon slices.

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