Melanie's Oysters Rockefeller
The original recipe for oysters Rockefeller was created at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine's in 1899, remains a secret to this day. The appetizer, oysters topped with a mixture of finely chopped greens and lots of butter and then baked in their shells. It was considered so rich that it had to be named the richest man of the day, John D. Rockefeller. As the years passed, no self-respecting restaurateur would be without his own version on the menu. Today, it is found on menus all over the US, and each of them have their own version of Oysters Rockefeller. Today, I am sharing my version. I love fresh oysters, and living in Savannah, I have access to great oysters both locally but also from Apalachicola Bay. Apalachicola Bay—thirty miles of shallow oyster paradise on the Florida panhandle—produces 90 percent of Florida's oysters; many consider them to be the best in the world. I have to say that those from Apalachicola I save for enjoying raw with a glass of King Estate Pinot Gris from Oregon or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Anyway, back to my recipe for Oysters Rockefeller.
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
- 3/4 cup (about 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vintage Salts Ghost Pepper Salt
- 1 pound (about) rock salt
- 24 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved - The oysters themselves (not the shells) should be no more than 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Step 1 Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Step 2 Finely chop garlic in processor. Add spinach to garlic. Process, using on/off turns, until mixture is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
- Step 3 Combine butter, breadcrumbs, fennel seeds, ghost pepper salt and hot sauce in processor. Process until well blended.
- Step 4 Return spinach mixture to processor. Process, using pulsate turns, just until mixtures are blended.
- Step 5 Season with salt and pepper to taste, I use ghost pepper salt, (I like my Oyster Rockefeller spicy). Note: this can be made up to 8 hours ahead, just refrigerate and chill.
- Step 6 Sprinkle rock salt over large baking sheet to depth of 1/2 inch.
- Step 7 Arrange oysters in half shells atop rock salt.
- Step 8 Top each shucked oyster with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture.
- Step 9 Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8 minutes.