Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oysters Rockefeller

"Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often parsley and other green herbs, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs) and are then baked or broiled."

"Oysters Rockefeller—This is a dish for which New Orleans is noted and proves an epicurean delight to those who are introduced to it for the first time. Its richness gives it its commonly-used title, but the old-time Creole bon vivant knows it as Huitres a la Montpelier. The secret of preparing oysters in this fashion has been jealously guarded by restauranteurs but this is the recipe, made public for the first time, of the Restaurant de la Louisiane, noted for preparing the bivalves in this style:"

"Prepare round pans by filling them with coarse salt and lay on each a half dozen raw oysters on the half shell, one dish being prepared for each person to be served. The coarse salt answers two purposes: to keep the shells upright that'they may retain the sauce and to keep shells hot while being served. The dish is placed in an oven under a gas broiler and cooked rapidly for a few moments, or until the meat starts to shrivel. Pour on sauce and serve immediately."

"The sauce for Oysters Rockefeller is made by previously preparing parsley, spinach, celery and onion tops and other greens, in a meat grinder; the greens must be ground very fine; to this add the juice of lemon and melted butter. One tablespoonful of this sauce is poured over each oyster when being taken from the shells, and just before serving."

It is one of the most nutritious and easily digested foods on the market.
It is a luxurious beginning for the most luxurious meal, yet it is cheap and abundant.
It can be prepared for the table in a great variety of tempting ways.
It is nearly self-sufficient as a diet, needing but the ordinary ingredients used in cooking—starches and fats—to give it balance.
It is one of the few foods that can be eaten either cooked or uncooked and is wholly digestible both ways."

Oysters Rockefeller Photo by Pachango
From Editor-In-Chief Sheri Wetherell

"The original recipe purportedly contains no spinach, but instead a bunch of fresh herbs and parsley. We also added a bit of Parmesan cheese to our version. I found this recipe after making our own spinach version."
Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

2 dozen fresh oysters on the half shell, oyster liquor reserved
4 springs flat-leaf Italian parsley
4 green onions
A handful of fresh celery leaves
6 or more fresh tarragon leaves
6 or more fresh chervil leaves
1/2 cup dried fresh French bread crumbs, unseasoned
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened [Rockefeller was rich and so are these!]
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste
2 tablespoons Pernod
Rock salt

"Finely mince the parsley, green onions and the herbs. In a mortar, mix the herbs with the breadcrumbs, softened butter, and any remaining oyster liquor until you have a textured paste. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco and Pernod."

"Spread about a 1/4 inch of rock salt in an oven-safe dish and set the oysters on top, making sure they're level. The salt will help keep the oysters from sliding around and also make a pretty presentation. Spoon an equal amount of the herb butter paste on top of each oyster. Place on the middle rack under the broiler and broil until the edges of the oysters curl and the herb butter paste bubbles, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately."

Text Credits: Wikipedia Bulletin Issue 1 Louisiana. Dept. of Conservation Oysters Rockefeller Recipe
Image Credit: Wikimedia

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