I’m sure you’re all wondering, ‘ How can Oysters Rockefeller be a Recipe 4 Survival?’ I’m not going to labor over the point but on some level, Oysters Rockefeller is a perfect recipe for survival. Short of only a few ingredients that are not staples the benefits of the vitamins & minerals intake balance it all out in my book. The dish is quite reasonable to prepare, whether you’re up to shucking your own oysters or if you’re not, oysters can be opened painlessly by par boiling them.
I got the iDea to make Oysters Rockefeller because I have creamed spinach & butter in the freezer from my crepe making caper last week it was Presidents Day, an R month and I had 9 unshucked oysters in the vegetable crisper draw in the fridge.
So I began my research into Oysters Rockefeller. Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that the closest anyone can get to a recipes which of course is top secret and may even have been taken to the grave is that there is no spinach in Antoine’s Oyster Rockefeller. Antoine’s Restaurant, where the dish was developed after the craze for escargot waned. Its said that there are 18 ingredients in Antoine’s recipe. Legend has it that a patron exclaimed with delight after eating this dish, “Why, this is as rich as Rockefeller!”
Seeing that Pernod, Herbsaint or Absinthe is a traditional ingredient in the recipe I was out the door like a bolt to get a bottle of Pernod which I love anyway and can’t imagine why Absinthe has been absent in my cupboard. I picked up a more reasonably priced bottle of Absinthe, Absinthe ordinaire liqueur. With this bottle in hand I then trucked down to the Essex Street Market to get a bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley, scallion, watercress. Breadcrumbs, garlic & capers are staples to me.
So that’s it. A stick of butter warmed while I was out getting the liquor & the greens. Immediately upon getting home, out came my compact Cuisinart. I roughly chopped half of each bunch of the greens, parsley, watercress & scallions. I added this to the warmed stick of butter I broke down into 4 pieces in the Cuisinart. Then I added 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 Ts, capers, & 2 Ts of the Absinthe to make a compound butter. I was so excited I completely forgot to add the breadcrumbs nor did I top them with Parmesan which is not called for in the closest I think I could get to a traditional recipe – even tho I have it. Tarragon & celery are believed to be in the original recipe. I neglected to use these ingredients but if I had easy access to tarragon, believe me, I’d use it. I’d also use fennel in place of celery but let me tell you – by making a compound butter with basic greens like I did and OH, and a splash of an absinthe, anise flavored liquor – I believe you can feel confident saying you made Oysters Rockefeller.
With the compound butter made I preheated the oven to 375 and set up to shuck and prep the oysters.
I spread a bed of Kosher salt in an oven proof pan with then gently placed the freshly shucked oysters topped with the compound butter into the oven for 7 minutes.
Place the hot out of the oven oysters on a plate w/rock or kosher salt, if you have it, or forego any of that but remember a few lemon wedges. A cold bubbly drink always works.
Remember, eating oysters is good for the environment!