This renowned baked oyster dish was created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans in 1899 by the proprietor, Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant's founder. The dish was named oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the intense richness of the sauce.
- Oysters, shucked on the half shell · 12
- Olive Oil · 1 tablespoon
- Herbie's Cayenne Pepper · 1 teaspoon
- Herbie's Fennel Pollen · 2 teaspoons
- Bacon Strips, finely chopped · 4
- Parmesan Cheese, grated · 1/2 cup
- Shallots, minced · 2
- Italian Parsley, finely chopped · 2 tablespoons
- Bunch Chives, thinly sliced · 1
- Baby Spinach · 2 cups
- Pank Breadcrumbs · 1/2 cup
- Garlic Cloves, minced · 4 whole
- Butter · 2 tablespoons
- Salt ·
- Pepper ·
Oysters are something that we always enjoy, though we rarely make them at home since they take a bit of effort but for a special occasion like Valentine's Day they are definitely worth it!
You really cannot go wrong with raw oysters but we like them even more when they are baked especially in the Rockefeller style. The original recipe is a secret but the sauce is a puree of green vegetables which is placed on oysters on the half-shell topped with bread crumbs and then baked. Antoine's has been serving the original recipe dish since 1899.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add Herbie’s Fennel Pollen, Herbie’s Cayenne Pepper, and parsley, then cook for another minute. Add the spinach to the pan and wilt down until it is tender. Take off the heat, season with salt and pepper then set aside.
In a small bowl add the panko breadcrumbs and olive oil, mix to combine.
Take the ½ cup of kosher salt and form a bed of salt on a sheet tray or baking dish. Then place the oysters in their shells on the bed of salt to ensure that they are level. Start by adding the finely chopped bacon to each oyster. Then spoon the butter spinach mixture evenly across all 12 oysters. Finish by coating each one with grated Parmesan cheese and top with panko breadcrumbs.
Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs on top are golden brown.
Serve with a glass of Williamson Wines Roussanne and enjoy!
Chef Tommy’s Tips:
Serving tip- Take 2 cups of kosher salt and ½ cup of water. Combine the two ingredients in a bowl. This should mimic the texture of wet sand. Pack the “sand” onto a nice platter or wide bowl and secure each oyster on the half shell on top.
Don’t know how to shuck oysters? You can buy oysters pre-shucked. All you have to do is rinse them (in salted water) and place each oyster in an individual oven proof dish and follow the recipe to get the same result.