When I was in my twenties I lived on the East Coast and was introduced to the freshest seafood available. I helped open a fresh Seafood restaurant that had a local Oyster purveyor. He would farm, cultivate and deliver his Oysters by boat three times a week. For the 3 years I had the pleasure to work at this high-end Seafood restuarant we would we would play around with fresh Oysters in several different ways. As a young Cook it was a great learning opportunity for me.
There are several different kinds of Oysters on the market these days – the 2 major kinds are Pacific and Atlantic. As regional cuisine has grown so much, most Oysters now are named to where they are from.
In the 21st Century we are very fortunate to have Oysters flown, shipped or delivered to our back door of any restaurant in North America, twelve months out of the year. In purchasing your Oysters please keep in mind the location of where your Oysters came from. As there is a big difference in Warm water Oysters compared to Cold water Oysters. Also do not be afraid to ask to taste one.
The recipe I am going to offer this month is also rich in history. As Oyster Rockefeller originated in New Orleans in 1899. There are many variations, I am simply going to give you mine.
Yields 36 Each
- 36 each – smaller Pacific Oysters – Kumomoto
- 2 Ounces – Watercress
- 4 Ounces – Spinach
- 2 Ounces – Shallots
- 5 Ounces – Panko Breadcrumbs
- 6 Ounces – Unsalted Butter
- 2 Ounces – Applewood Smoked Bacon
- 1 Ounce – Parmesan Cheese
- Shuck Oysters and save Oyster “Liquor”. Put the Oyster back into the shell.
- Bake Applewood smoked Bacon in 400 degree oven for 18 minutes. Chop roughly and set aside.
- Add 3 Ounces of Butter in a large Saute pan, cook until butter turns Brown. Add Shallots, Watercress and Spinach until lightly wilted, season with Salt and Pepper. Remove from heat, cool and Puree.
- Melt the rest of your Butter and combine with Panko Breadcrumbs and Parmesan Cheese and mix well.
- Place 3-4 pieces of chopped Bacon on top of each Oyster.
- Add 1 Tbs. of your Spinach puree on top of the Bacon.
- Lightly place your Panko Breadcrumb, Parmesan mixture on top of the Oysters.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Place on a plate and garnish with Lemon and Red or Green Tabasco. Serve immediately!
The simple freshness supplied by all Oysters is something that everyone should try! Although the texture is not for everyone, keep your intial tasting fresh and simple – ENJOY!