I have to admit…I don’t really like oysters. It’s not something I confess easily. Everyone loves them! And believe me when I say that I’ve tried to like them. I’ve had them with horseradish and cocktail sauce. I’ve had them deep-fried. I’ve genuinely tried to like these little buggers but the truth is, I don’t. I can’t deal with the texture. I feel like Elaine in that episode of Seinfeld where she admits that she doesn’t like the English Patient and Peterman fires her. I’m an outcast!
But at work, I’ve had to open hundreds of oysters. And I’ve come to find that I actually really enjoy opening them. It’s so satisfying when your knife fits right into that tiny groove between the shells, like wrenching apart a small treasure. Then, you slide your knife across the top of the oyster to release that little muscle that’s holding on so tightly, and a perfect, juicy plump oyster is revealed. I love it! I just don’t want to eat it.
Oysters Rockefeller is a good way for someone like me to eat oysters. The crunchy texture of the breadcrumbs disguises what is otherwise too slimy for me to handle. This classic recipe has been done and re-done a million times over. We used bacon in our creamy spinach mixture, but you can add a variety of items to make this classic recipe your own.
(Makes 5 oysters)
¼ cup bacon, cut into lardons
½ cup spinach
Splash of white wine
3 tbsp cream
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan
What to do:
- Cut the bacon into small lardons and slowly render them until they’re crispy in a small pan.
- When bacon is crisp, remove from pan with a slotted spoon and lay out on a paper towel to soak up excess fat.
- In the same pan, use the remaining bacon fat to sauté the spinach until wilted. Deglaze with white wine and reduce until dry.
- Add in cream and cook for a minute until slightly reduced. Spinach should be creamy and soft.
- Melt the butter and mix into the breadcrumbs. Grate parmesan, mix half into spinach mixture, and half into butter and breadcrumbs.
- Wash the oysters before opening to remove any excess dirt. Open the oysters, fill with the spinach and bacon mixture. Top with cheesy breadcrumbs.
- Bake oysters under a broiler for 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm!
© 2012 Jonathan and Jessica Meter