Monday, February 20, 2006

Venison Dinner Party-Part 3-Baked Oysters

Click image for larger view.

Baked Oysters with Leaks and Bacon
This recipe is from the November 2004 issue of Bon Appétit

Makes about 10 servings

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup whipping cream

8 ounces bacon
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; from 4 large)
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dry white wine (or Vermouth)
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Paremesan)

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread (I used Portuguese bread because I like that it has a little sweetness to it. You can also use Challah bread if you like this idea as it has a little sweetness to it as well).

20 medium oysters, shucked, or four 8-ounce jars shucked oysters (If you're going to make this recipe, I recommend, although it's work, to shuck your own oysters. They're so much more fresh and delicious).

How to:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet with kosher salt (this will keep the oysters in place and keep their juices from pouring out of the shell).

Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes over medium heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes. Add cream slowly and whisk until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Sauté bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Add leeks, celery, bay leaf, and cayenne to skillet and sauté over mdium heat until vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Add wine and cook until absorbed, about 15 seconds. Add cream mixture and bring to simmer. Stir until leek mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in bacon and cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.

Place 1 oyster on each of 20 oyster shells or place 2 oysters in each of 10 small ramekins (recommend the shell route). Top oyster in each shell with 2 tablespoons leek mixture, or top oysters in ramekins with 1/4 leek mixture. Place on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide breadcrumbs among shells or ramekins. Bake until leek mixture bubbles and crumbs are golden, about 8 minutes. NOTE: At the very end, I like to put these under the broiler for 1 or 2 minutes to finish it off. Just keep an eye on them so the breadcrumbs don't burn.

Serve immediately on a platter. Provide small plates since the oysters will be a little too hot to handle with a cocktail napkin.

This image is from My oysters were eaten before I had a chance to take a picture of them.

NOTE: If you would like all the recipes in the Venison Dinner Party menu in a text only format, you can download a pdf called "venisondinnerrecipes.pdf" here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best oysters you will ever have!

9:08 AM  

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