I've become recently obsessed with oysters! I think I had a bad experience a few years ago when I lived in DC so I never even tried them in Dallas. Blake made me expand my horizons again when plopped me at the bar at JAX in Denver. There, I fell in love again with oysters and an overload of horseradish.
Oysters Rockefeller is a historic dish originating in no other than NOLA! Famous restaurant, Antoine's, is the birth of this recipe. The owner's son came up with the dish and called it "Oysters Rockefeller" after the richest man at the time, John D. Rockefeller. It describes the richness of the sauce plopped on top these oysters and broiled! So if you want the real thing, get your butt to New Orleans. Meanwhile this recipe I found in Eating Well is a quick fix. I altered it a bit.
Not sure where to get your oysters? Best place is to order online from Chef's Fresh Fish... you can also get an oyster knife from the website.
-6 cups gently packed baby spinach
-1 cup flat-leaf/Italian parsley
-2 Tbsp butter
-2 green onions, finely chopped
-6 Tbsp. Pernod, Sambuca or other licorice-flavored liqueur
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 tsp hot sauce
-1/3 cup parmesan cheese
Required: Oyster Knife
Optional: Rock Salt, which is often used to make ice cream
First, we have to shuck the oysters. My oh my was this a bit of a challenge for me! I recommend a second set of hands (preferably a boy) to help you with this. I finally got the hang of it after awhile but it still required a large glass of wine before I could start the rest of the recipe. I found the secret is in the WIGGLE!
The video below from Coastal Living really helped me. Also, DON'T use a regular knife to shuck oysters, you are bound to stab yourself. Invest in an oyster knife; they really aren't that expensive and may save you a finger.
When you shuck the oysters make sure to save the bottom shells and the juice from the oysters. Just dump the oyster meat and the liquid in a bowl and we will separate it out later.
Now using a strainer, separate the meat from the juice. Refrigerate both in Tupperware until ready to eat. Wash out the bottom (more curved) halves of the oyster shells. Make sure to remove any dirt or grit.
Now it's time to make our sauce! Wash and remove the stems of the spinach if you're using the kind with large leaves and thick stems. If it's baby spinach you can probably leave them on. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and parsley leaves to the water and cook for about 30 seconds until wilted. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. This way they will keep their vibrant green color.
Squeeze the excess liquid from the greens and finely chop them.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the chopped greens and scallions. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are soft. Add the oyster liquid and Sambuca (or other liqueur), lemon juice and hot sauce.
Cook everything for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Meanwhile, turn the oven to 450 degrees and prep your baking sheet. You can either use the rock salt or crumbled up foil. One of the two will help your curved oyster shells sit flat on the pan.
Place one oyster in each shell.
Place a large dollop of greens on each oyster. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese.
Bake 8-12 minutes or until the cheese has browned a bit on top. Enjoy! I served these with the Saffron Potatoes and it made a wonderful meal. The original Oysters Rockefeller has cream in the greens. If you want to add a few tablespoons, you can! It will just make it a little richer (and a little less healthy!)