Oysters, cream and spinach make up this simple but exciting brunch dish.
'Oysters' on Serious Eats
A cold pint of stout and a plate of freshly shucked oysters may seem like an odd coupling at first. But the dry bitterness and roasty malt flavors of a stout play very well against the sweet and briny flavors of a fresh oyster--even more so when the stout is frozen and flaked into an icy granita that can be spooned over the fresh oyster just before slurpage.
Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin, authors of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, adapted this recipe for Oysters Rockefeller from a 1977 edition of The Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant Seafood Cookbook. Over the years the Rockefeller recipe used at the storied Oyster Bar has changed but this one is that would be the closest to the ones that Don and Roger enjoyed.
This oyster shooter goes over the top with chicken cracklings and a chicken salt rim.
This stew is a close relative of the Manhattan-style clam chowder; it uses a tomato base and a good assortment of vegetables as well as fish stock. The oysters and their liquor are dropped in the stew at the moment you turn off the heat, to ensure that they don't get overcooked. The result is plump oysters and a satisfying bowl of stew.
This classic sauce adds the perfect acidic accent to freshly shucked oysters.
Dipped in an eggy batter and rolled in paprika-spiked flour, these little oysters fry up golden, warmed through but still briny and fresh, not losing one ounce of that oceanic depth. And that tartar sauce? Well, it beats the old mayo-relish mix by miles. Chopped cornichons, capers, lemon, and Worcestershire keep it tart, chunky, and make for the ideal dipping companion for straight-out-of-the-fryer oysters.
Any oyster lover's search to eat more oysters in the morning will inevitably lead them to the Hangtown Fry. Traditionally this dish is more of a scramble than an omelet, but when I'm cooking an oyster in the morning already, it seems silly to not toss it in some cornmeal and then gently fry it in bacon fat.
This is not, I repeat, not a BLT variant. I may be fond of the category—and this sandwich certainly does feature a B, L, and a T—but they are little more than solid side players here. No, this is a fried oyster sandwich that just happens to be topped with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. It is messy, out of control, and one of the best sandwiches I've devoured in a long time.
I hardly eat oysters at home because I lack the upper body strength required to shuck them. Luckily, a short turn on the grill makes even the most clamped specimen easy to open. Simple and delicious, the warm, briny oysters need nothing more than a squeeze of lemon to highlight their flavor.
To most this dish is a classic appetizer, but serve it before noon and it makes a lovely, fancy brunch served alongside sparkling wine. There aren't many morning foods that incorporate oysters (if you have one, please let me know!) but there's something about the crisp breadcrumb, soft oyster and salty cheese that has always screamed brunch to me.
There are some questionable accounts about what actually goes into the authentic version of Oysters Rockefeller. Just about every recipe I found was different, significantly too. That's how I ended up with this baked oyster recipe from Alton Brown, which makes no attempt to be historically accurate. Luckily, Brown just decided to create a really great baked oyster recipe.
From chef Tom Valenti's You Don't Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook...
It's such a simple sandwich, yet when you sit down with one of these, it's hard to imagine anything tasting better. The oysters are tossed in a flour and cornmeal mixture, then fried for just under a minute so the crust is crackly and golden brown, yet the oysters are still gushing with juice. The bread is important. It needs to be soft, but still have a nice crackly texture. Then it's just iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise.
The following recipe is from the February 25th edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here! This dish of baked oysters with fresh thyme and sweet garlic butter is probably the simplest...
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