Oysters Rockefeller

The original recipe of Oysters Rockefeller is one of the great secrets of the culinary world. Created in 1889 at Antoine’s in New Orleans by Jules Alciatore, the son of the great Antoine himself, it was named after the man who was at that time the richest in the world because, according to Jules, “I know other name rich enough for their richness”. Antoine’s have guarded the recipe closely ever since Jules’ death (and, after all, wouldn’t you?) but there have been many attempts to replicate it.

We love Oysters Rockefeller, so we spent a long time hunting through all the replication attempts for the perfect recipe. Eventually, our quest led us here. We present our favorite Oysters Rockefeller recipe, from our friends at The Hog Island Oyster Lover’s Cookbook. They use the Big Green Egg for their oyster barbecuing, but if you don’t have one, give it a go on your own grill or put them in the oven.

The whole cookbook is excellent, full of oyster facts, oyster recipes, and oyster tasting notes. We have it on all our shelves! Once you’ve tried this recipe, pick up a copy here and try the other 39.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • Leaves from 8 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, minced
  • 4 green onions, minced including green tops
  • ¼ cup minced fresh celery leaves
  • 6 fresh tarragon leaves (minced, and don’t use dried tarragon)
  • 6 fresh chervil leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod liquor (or absinthe, if you can get it)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs, homemade with French bread
  • 2 dozen small (3-4 inches long) oysters
  • Rock salt

Preparation:

In a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until bubbly and fragrant. Add the parsley, green onions, celery, tarragon, and chervil. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the Tabasco sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Add the Pernod and breadcrumbs and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until cold but not solid.

Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit (or heat up the Big Green Egg). Shuck the oysters, place them back in their cupped bottom, and set aside. Spread about ¼ inch of rock salt in a rimmed baking sheet and bake the salt for 8 minutes to preheat it and keep the oysters warm for serving. For the Big Green Egg you can leave out the rock salt baking sheet. Just put them on the grill.

While the rock salt is heating, remove the butter mixture from the fridge. Beat with a whisk to incorporate the ingredients and aerate. Working quickly, spread 1 teaspoonful of the mixture over each oyster, nestle, each in the warm rock salt, and bake for 5 minutes, or until the topping bubbles. Do not overcook. Serve immediately.

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