Sunday, March 2, 2014
We have some friends who throw a wonderful Mardi Gras party (well it is really more like Dimanche Gras), so we have an excuse to cook a little cajun. This year, we had a quick consultation with Jon Alexis of TJ's seafood in Dallas, and he made sure we had a couple of dozen gulf oysters shucked and ready for us. Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans provided the basic recipe (after all they invented the dish, I think). The whole prep really only took about 35 minutes, then a cooking time of 18. Easy and impressive - oh and tasted fantastic too.
1 Green pepper chopped into 1/4" cubes
10 green onions, diced
2 cloves garlic (mashed to a paste)
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup bechamel sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 sprigs parsley, leaves only, minced
a few drops of hot sauce (to taste) - I used habanero vodka
24 oysters on the half shell
salt/pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare two foil pans (8x13 or so) by filling 1/2 way with rock salt (ice cream salt). Melt the butter and add the green pepper, onions, garlic and sweat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the wine, bring to the boil and cook out some of the alcohol to reduce the boozy flavor. Stir in the bechamel, pimientos, breadcrumbs, cheese and bring to a low boil. Cook for about 20 minutes until thickened. Check seasoning adding hot sauce, salt, pepper to taste. When cooked stir in the parsley.
Meanwhile nestle the oysters into the rock salt in the pans. Place about 2 tsp of the sauce onto each oyster, taking care not to get the rock salt onto the oyster or into the sauce.
Bake the pans in the oven for around 13 minutes - until the sauce is hot, and the oysters are cooked. Better not to overcook, but do be safe.
Serve in the cooking pans.