Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller

[Photograph: Nina Gallant]

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.

Reprinted with permission from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. Copyright © 2012. Published by Smart Pop Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

  • Yield:makes 24 oysters (about 4 servings)
  • Active time: 45 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • Rock salt
  • 2 dozen large (or 3–4 dozen small) oysters, opened and on the half shell
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 small stalk celery, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Pernod or Anisette


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 450°F. Fill 4 pie or cake tins (or a baking dish large enough to hold oysters) with rock salt, but no more than half full (use just enough salt to keep the oysters from rocking back and forth). Place the tins in the oven briefly to warm.

  2. 2.

    Prepare the topping: Saute the shallots, celery, and parsley in 4 tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet for approximately 5–7 minutes. Add spinach to the skillet and allow it to wilt for a minute.

  3. 3.

    Pour spinach mixture into a blender. Add the remaining butter, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, peppers, and Pernod or Anisette. Blend for a minute at medium speed. Top each oyster with about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of the mixture, depending on the size of the oyster.

  4. 4.

    Remove the tins from the oven and embed the oysters firmly in the hot salt. Return pans to the oven and bake for about 4 minutes, or until the butter is melted and the spinach is lightly browned on top. Serve oysters right in the tin.