On a trip to New Orleans, my youngest child discovered that he loves oysters. Unfortunately, they aren’t always easy to come by back home in the Midwest. Recently, I was lucky enough to find trays of frozen raw oysters on the half shell at one of the more upscale markets in my area. They were fairly priced, and the fact that they were frozen did not scare me away. After all, I didn’t plan to eat them raw, but rather planned to turn them into the scrumptious baked treat known as Oysters Rockefeller.
Some folks will swear that Oysters Rockefeller cannot be made without pricey liquor (yes, it can). Others will swear that you can’t add cheese (you can) or _____ (insert other offending ingredient here). Relax. Feel free to experiment with the stuffing, and use what appeals to you. Here’s my version. Enjoy.
Ingredients (Makes 12)
1 dozen cleaned, raw oysters on the half shell (if frozen, remove from freezer about 20 minutes before continuing)
1/4 cup butter (only use real butter for this, please)
1 slice of bread, pulsed in a blender to make fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup finely chopped, fresh spinach
1 tablespoon finely diced onion
1 finely diced garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 raw shrimp, finely minced (optional but delicious)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Step 1) Arrange oysters on a baking pan with shallow sides. To prevent shells from tipping, first add a 1/4 inch deep layer of coarse salt to the bottom of the pan.
Step 2) Prepare your filling. Melt butter in a skillet. Add bread crumbs, onion, and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, lemon zest, and shrimp (optional). Saute for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Step 3) Using a small spoon, divide filling evenly on top of the oysters. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Step 4) Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 5 minutes. If oysters are still partially frozen, they may need an extra minute. [Side note: some folks think 5 minutes of baking is too long. I prefer to err on the side of food safety. Use your discretion.]