I wanted to cook something in Frank’s Bistro, so I went “shopping” down the kitchen line to see what had already been prepped and was waiting to be made into the various dishes on the menu. I found oysters, of course, sliced pancetta (unsmoked Italian bacon), some caramelized onions, chopped red chilies, and chopped parsley. So I made up this dish. I use large oysters for cooking, since they shrink down to a manageable size, while little ones would disappear.
You will need 4 ovenproof gratin dishes just large enough to hold 3 oysters each and some rock salt.
Cook the red onions in a large frying pan with
Shuck the oysters, leaving them on the half-shell and reserving any oyster liquor. Fill 4 gratin dishes half full with rock salt and put them in the oven to heat.
Spoon the browned onions over the oysters, sprinkle with the lemon zest and any reserved oyster liquor, and then place a coiled slice of pancetta on top of each. Remove the gratin dishes from the oven, quickly nestle 3 oysters into the salt in each dish, and return them to the oven.
Transfer gratin dishes to serving plates—a napkin folded in the center will cushion them and looks nice, too. Sprinkle the oysters first with chopped parsley, then with the chilies, and serve at once.
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