This is one of the greatest tasting oyster recipes of all! Oysters Rockefeller!
Oysters Rockefeller is a famous recipe that was created at Antoine's Of New Orleans. The original recipe has never been publicized and it is still kept secret. The chances are, that you have never had authentic Oysters Rockefeller, if you have ordered them at a restaurant. If spinach was used in the recipe, then it was not an authentic Oysters Rockefeller!
The original Oysters Rockefeller had no spinach in the recipe at all. The cooked greens in the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe are a mixture of wild field greens and domestic greens other than spinach. Dandelion, dock, chicory, poke sallet, and mustard greens are a few of the wild greens that I know were part of the original recipe. This mixture of wild field greens has a much richer flavor than spinach!
Mornay sauce, bechamel sauce or hollandaise sauce is not part of the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe either. Many second rate restaurants place these sauces on spinach coated oysters and call that Oysters Rockefeller. Even worse are the restaurants that blob creamed spinach on of oysters and call that Oysters Rockefeller. Many chefs even try to justify using spinach and sauces in an Oysters Rockefeller recipe by saying that it is a modern interpretation version or they claim that this is how the recipe is printed in a cook book. Bah! Like I mentioned before, the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe has never been published.
I have done a lot of research into finding out what the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe was. It seems like many chefs who have had experience working at Antoine's of New Orleans have mentioned bits and pieces of the recipe during the last 100 years. I pretty much compiled the many descriptions of the original Oysters Rockefeller recipes and sorted the information out to come up with a recipes that is very close to the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe.
First of all, a puree of wild greens, herbs and seasonings is mixed with softened butter, till it becomes a thick paste. Anchovy paste was commonly used in New Orleans recipes over 100 years ago and it adds a mild savory umami flavor to the original Oysters Rockefeller. The wild greens and butter paste is generously spread over the oysters, before baking.
Absinthe was a popular cooking liquor in New Orleans and even after Absinthe was banned. Smuggled absinthe was made available to chefs at fine restaurants in New Orleans, so the customers would be pleased. One French absinthe that flew under the radar was not named absinthe and it has an unpublished list of ingredients. Pernod is actually a mild absinthe that has a strong anise and licorice root flavor. Absinthe or Pernod was the liquor in the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe.
The flavor of Oysters Rockefeller using the original recipe and original cooking method is incredibly rich and tasty!
Oysters Rockefeller Recipe:
A total amount of about 1 1/3 cups of finely minced wild greens is enough to make enough of the topping for 6 oysters. Most of these greens are wild summer greens that most people mistakenly call weeds. A stroll through a pristine meadow is a good way to find some of these wild greens. Wild greens have become popular offerings from organic growers in recent years.
Very finely mince 1 handful of each of these greens:
- dandelion greens
- mustard greens
- dock greens
- poke sallet greens
- chicory greens
When the greens mixture is minced nearly to a puree state, place it in a mixing bowl.
Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
Add 1 minced small shallot.
Add 1 pinch of ground fennel seed.
Add 2 pinches of tarragon leaf.
Add 3 pinches of chopped Italian parsley.
Add 3 1/2 ounces of softened unsalted butter.
Add 1/4 cup of plain fine French bread crumbs.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste.
Add 1 1/2 ounces of French Absinthe du Provence Liquor.
Note: The original absinthe was created in Provence, France. Anisette, Sambucca, Arak and Ouzo can be be substituted for Absinthe. French Pernod is a mild absinthe and Swiss absinthe is another good choice. Absinthe has a dry bitter wormwood and anise flavor.
Mix the ingredients together, till a thick buttery dark green paste is formed.
Shuck 6 oysters, so they sit on the half shell.
Spoon a generous amount of the Rockefeller topping mixture on each shucked oyster.
Press the butter mixture into place.
Drizzle a little bit of absinthe over the stuffed oysters.
Sprinkle a tiny amount of grated parmesan cheese on top of the stuffed oysters.
Place the stuffed oysters on a bead of rock salt on an oven proof serving platter. (Arrange the oysters so they sit evenly, if no rock salt is available.
Bake in a 350 degree oven, till the small amount of cheese turns a light brown color. Bake till the minced greens sizzle with the butter, till they become fully cooked. By then, the oysters also will be cooked tender.
Serve the Oysters Rockefeller on the baking platter with the bed of rock salt or place the oysters on a plate garnished with escarole and lemon wedges.
The flavor of the original Oysters Rockefeller is very rich! Buttery, anise, tarragon, fennel flavors with the great aroma of cooked wild greens! Spinach Rockefeller toppings taste very bland when compared to the original recipe. This recipe is as close to the original Antoine's secret Oysters Rockefeller recipe as it can be.
If a restaurant menu says Oysters Rockefeller with spinach, hollandaise or mornay, then I do not order the oysters. Once you taste the original recipe, nothing else will be satisfactory. The original Oysters Rockefeller is the best of all classic oyster recipes! Delicious! ... Shawna