Wednesday, June 9, 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.  Chef Jules Alciatore created them in 1899 at Antoine's Restaurant.  My husband is very good at shucking the oysters.  He has a steel glove and a really nice oyster knife.  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 minced & packed baby spinach
¼ cup white Italian vermouth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ t Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce
2 T minced fresh Italian parsley
2 T minced fresh watercress or arugula
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 T unsalted butter, melted

Lemon wedges for serving

Shuck oysters over a newspaper lined counter or table.  Discard the top shallow shell. Using the oyster knife, separate the oyster in the deeper shell and flip it over to the smooth side.  
Place the oysters in their shell on a platter or baking sheet and place in the bottom of the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Melt butter in a medium 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 the vermouth, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black pepper, hot sauce, parsley, and watercress or arugula.
Turn off heat and mix until combined.
Mix in the half of the grated cheese.

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

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove tray of oysters from refrigerator.

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.
Drizzle with melted butter.

Place oysters on an oyster baking sheet or a cast-iron skillet with 1-inch of ice cream salt.  Bake oysters for 12 to 14 minutes until topping is golden brown.

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

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