Redneck Oysters Rockefeller
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
I have redneck blood. I’ll be the first to admiit it. I was born poor and I still feel poor. There has never been a time in my life when I went without or didn’t have to stretch the almighty dollar. I do have a taste for finer things, but feel I have to undergo that with a heavy hand of economy when possible.
So when I saw a sale on pre-shucked oysters, I bought a bunch. And one of my favorite things to do with oysters is to have them as Oysters Rockefeller, a delicious baked appetizer that hails from Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That recipe is proprietary (you know, a secret!) But many clones have sprung up in the years since that recipe’s inception by Antoine Alciatore in 1899. So chefs everywhere have had more than plenty of time since then to try to work it out. And surely they must, for I have never actually been to Antoine’s, but I still love what passes for the Rockefeller from there.
But but but.
Oysters Rockefeller are made with fresh oysters in the shell. *sob*
But if it’s just me eating them, can’t I be just a *little bit* redneck, cut corners and cheat a tiny bit?
I daresay I can. It may not be the tradition way, but I have a “can do” attitude, and I suspect, dear reader, that you do as well.
If this little science experiment had gone south, I would never be sitting here with you right now talking about a recipe for Oysters Rockefeller that *gulp*, unabashedly and unashamedly uses refrigerated oysters in the tub.’
I don’t care if the purists think it is gauche. I’ve got news for them. It’s good.
Of course, since I didn’t have any shells sitting around (which these are normally baked in) I had to improvise and think of what I would use.
And I came across some silicone baking cups that can be used in an oven up to 500ºF. Beware, I saw some that wouldn’t take that much heat! If you buy some do check the label.
Although I daresay you could use a tinfoil muffin cup in a pan just as easily (and that was what I thought I might do until I saw the silicone cups.)
I probably didn’t end up saving any money at all on the oysters after making that purchase, but the good thing is that these cups can be used again and again, and not just for oysters. Those are going to be bloody awesome for little individual frittatas and the like. Not to mention muffins!
So I do hope you are brave enough to go further and try this recipe, especially if oysters in the shell are unavailable to you, or if like me, there is a good buy at the seafood counter, and you’d like to give it a go.
Redneck Oysters Rockefeller
- 2 pints fresh oysters, preferably small
- 3 scallions
- 1-1/2 cups fresh watercress leaves (no stems)
- 1-1/2 cups baby spinach leaves (no stems)
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup Pernod liqueur
- 1/4 cup panko
- 1-3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Place silicone muffin cups or suitable substitute on a baking sheet.
- Place scallions, spinach, watercress and parsley into a food processor and pulse a few times until finely chopped but not pasty.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, Pernod, panko, and 1/4 cup Parmesan, setting remaining Parmesan aside.
- Divide the oysters among the baking cups, cutting them smaller if necessary. It is not preferred, but it will be okay. Some of them can be huge. You really don’t want extra large ones in the cups or it will mess up the cook time. You should get about 24 muffin cups worth.
- Top oysters with the herb and vegetable mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 450ºF for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with lemon wedges if desired.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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