A favorite along the eastern seaboard during the earlier part of the 20th century was Oysters Rockefeller—baked oysters topped with savory shredded greens. Because of its rich ingredients, creator Jules Alciatore of Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans chose John D. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in the nation, as its namesake.—Craig Claiborne
24 oysters on the half shell
1/2 pound butter
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 small garlic clove, minced
2 cups chopped watercress
1/3 cup chopped fennel
1/3 cup fine soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup anisette or Pernod
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
2. Fill 4 tin pie plates with rock salt and arrange 6 oysters on the half shell on each.
3. In a skillet heat the butter, add the parsley, celery, shallots and garlic and cook 3 minutes. Add the watercress and fennel and cook until the watercress wilts, about 1 minute.
4. Pour the mixture into the container of a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until the sauce is thoroughly puréed.
5. Place 1 tablespoon of the sauce on each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell. Bake the oysters just until the sauce bubbles, about 4 minutes.
Recipe © 1990 Craig Claiborne. All rights reserved.