Baked Oysters Rockasino a la Maria (Oysters Rockefeller meets Clams Casino) - Slurpalicious
By Ken & Maria Perrotte
Man, if you want to pick a fight with a native New Orleanian, tell her that Oysters Rockefeller has spinach in it. The knives come out and it’s a duel to the death over spinach versus watercress as a primary ingredient. Personally, I like the flavor and texture of spinach with the oysters. Maria refuses to call the dish Rockefeller without watercress. It really doesn’t matter because we roast and char-grill oysters with all kinds of toppings and preparation – when you raise a couple thousand a year you can do that.
A recent Facebook post with a photo of some roasted oysters and champagne yielded the “recipe please” messages. So, here it is. This particular concoction was a bit Oysters Rockefeller (Ken style) meets Clams Casino. Maria was the chief perpetrator of this blasphemous dish, which was freaking delicious.
Please note that measurements are approximate. Rarely are ingredients measured when we make oyster dishes. The ingredients sometimes vary, as well. For example, mushroom and onion can be omitted, and other veggies added. You can top the oysters with breadcrumbs and, for a slightly different flavor profile, sherry, brandy or Worcestershire sauce can be used instead of wine. Heck, you could even flambé with the brandy if you want!
Have fun and enjoy. Eating oysters should be festive!
1 ½ dozen oysters, shucked with the liquor and cupped shell half reserved
2 slices bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 mushroom, diced
1 slice onion, diced
Pinch (to taste) red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons oyster liquor (the liquid naturally inside the oyster shell)
Pinch creole seasonings
Pinch lemon pepper
Pinch (to taste) white pepper
¼ cup cream or half and half
A couple handfuls roughly chopped raw spinach
Cheese (we used mozzarella and parmesan, but you can use almost any favorite)
Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Chop bacon into 1- to ½-inch pieces and cook in a large pan over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is almost cooked. Remove bacon, keeping the fat in the pan. You should have at least 1 tablespoon. If needed, add butter or oil to get at least 1 tablespoon.
Add the garlic, mushrooms, onion and pepper flakes and cook over medium low heat until starting to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. De-glaze pan with wine. Add lemon juice, oyster liquor and seasonings, adjusting the amounts to suit your taste. Remember, the cream and spinach will mellow out the flavors.
Add the cream and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the mixture is a little thickened. If you want, you can add butter, but we didn’t – it’s already pretty rich. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may want a little salt, but the oysters, bacon and cheese will all provide some saltiness.
Place a dollop of the creamed spinach in each oyster shell. Top with a plump oyster, followed by the cheese and reserved bacon. Bake on a sheet pan for about 10 or 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bacon is crispy. By then the oysters will start to curl. They are done! Don’t overcook because the oysters and sauce will dry out. Cool for a couple minutes and serve with a crisp white wine or dry champagne.