Though the debate still reins as to if the original recipe contained spinach, or a mixture of herbs, this classic New Orleans dish is always a celebratory meal. For the record, this recipe is a twist on the classic.
24 small to medium oysters, washed and shucked, reserving the shells
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely diced
½ tsp (2.5g) salt
3/4 cup (96g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60ml) Herbsaint or Pernod
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely diced
1/2 cup (118ml) heavy cream
1 lb (2 cups) baby spinach or watercress stemmed, washed, and chopped
1 sprig fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup (50g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup (25g) toasted panko
1 lemon cut into wedges
Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Over medium heat, in a small pan, melt butter. Add shallots. Stir in flour and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add Herbsait or Pernod and garlic and stir to combine. Add heavy cream and let cook 1 minute. Stir in spinach and tarragon. Cook until mixture thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add a little bit of water or heavy cream to thin. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together cheese, panko, and breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon spinach mixture into each of the empty oyster shells and top each with a whole oyster. Top with more of the spinach mixture and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to oven and bake until oysters are warm to the touch, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- Mover oysters directly under the broiler to brown, approximately 1 minute. Take out of oven and serve with lemon.
Want more oyster recipes? This original article initially appeared in the Winter 2015/16 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.