So I cooked a couple of quick appetizers for yesterday's Thanksgiving festivities which I don't think I've written up previously here on the Redneck Gourmet(and I'm too lazy to look at my archives), so in lethargy and ineptitude I thought I'd take the risk of posting the formulas again this morning.
They each fall under their own separate heading below, and with that said, here's my method of how to cook "Oysters Rockefeller" ("Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops" follows in a separate posting.)
According to this website called Whatscookingamerica.net, this dish originated in 1899 in Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Go over there if you want to and take a peek at the history.
I've personally dined at Commanders' Palace and Brennan's and a number of other famous Nawlin's eateries over the past 30 years but I have to admit that I've never made it over to Antoine's...but I have enjoyed various interpretations of the Recipe produced by kitchens around the country over the years and some have been good and some have been great...but the one thing in common is that MOST have cost an arm and a leg in a restaurant.
For no good reason in my considered Redneck opinion...I might add.
That said, I say there's ways tocook Oysters Rockefeller for less than $0.75 each...closer to $0.50 each if you know what you're doing and can get a good deal on fresh oysters.
And to that end, here's my personal interpretation of...
Oysters Rockefeller (by the dozen)
You're gonna need the following basic ingredients:
(and feel free to experiment if you wish)
12 fresh oysters
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp butter
6 tbsp minced fresh spinach (or a part of a pack of frozen chopped spinach...WELL drained)
2 tbsp finely diced green onions
2 tbsp diced stemmed Italian flat leaf Parsley
breadcrumbs (as much as you need...hang on)
a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I use Crystal)
1/3 tsp Annisette Liquor (or Herbsaint or Pernod)
1/4 tsp salt
Box of Rock salt
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
OK...here we go...first crank on the oven to 350 degrees
Meanwhile shuck your Oysters. Cut those suckers out of their shell making sure to keep the sand and crumbs out of things and set aside the better looking deeper halves of each shell to use later in the process.
Let me remind you that real men shuck oysters...but if you aren't a real man or you're female and don't have a real man handy you can buy them (the Oysters) already shucked but then you have to also get those little sanitized store bought shells if you absolutely have to.
I, personally, having grown up in Lower Alabama in a place less than two hours from the best oysters in the world in Apalachicola Bay Florida, refuse to buy anything but fresh oysters.
(I guess that means I'm saying not to cook this recipe unless you can find fresh oysters in the shell, but I digress...)
Meanwhile...back to the preparation of our Oysters...
In a heavy skillet, melt your butter (and add some bacon grease if you have it handy), then add the spinach, onion, parsley, Anisette, hot sauce, and salt.
Now sprinkle a few tablespoons of bread crumbs on top and start stirring as things thicken. As the juice cooks out of the spinach , pay attention and if you need more bread crumbs don't just stand there...put them in the pot and keep stirring...don't look at me...
After about 10 minutes consider turning the heat off and pulling the skillet off the hot eye and then let it cool down (you can even make this stuff as much as a day early and refrigerate until you need it, but let it come up to room temperature or it will effect your cooking time.)
After you've shucked your oysters and picked out and scrubbed off your serving shells, add about a 1/2" deep layer of rock salt to a oven proof platter or cookie sheet and lay out your shells evenly spaced over the surface of the salt. The salt helps evenly transfer heat during the cooking process and also keeps the shells stable while you're filling them.
Now add one oyster back to each shell. It doesn't matter that they go back into their original shells but it helps if you put your bigger oysters in the larger shells and reserve the smaller ones for the little guys.
Place equal amounts of the spinach mixture over each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell if possible.
Slide the whole concoction into the oven and let things go for about ten minutes, then pull them back out and distribute your grated cheese on top and lightly sprinkle with more bread crumbs, return to the oven and kick on the Broiler to 500.
Let things go another five minutes or so, then pull out and serve.
The Redneck Gourmet