Oysters Rockefeller

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield:

    6

    Servings.

Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

The owners of Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans lay claim to the “invention” of this dish. It is credited to the original owner, Jules Al-ciatore, and is said to have been created around the turn of the century. It was named Rockefeller, not necessarily in tribute to John D., who may or may not have been a customer of the restaurant. He was simply one of the wealthiest men in America and the dish was dubbed with his family name because of the richness of the dish and the abundance of “green stuff” that topped the oysters.

Ingredients

  • 36 oysters
  • 2 pounds (or 2 10-ounce packages) fresh spinach
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallion(s)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 can (2 ounces) anchovies, drained
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons Pernod, Ricard, or other anise-flavored liqueur
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Open the oysters, leaving them on the half shell and reserving the oyster liquor.
  3. Pick over the spinach and remove any tough stems and blemished leaves. Rinse well and put in a saucepan. Cover and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted. Drain well and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Blend or put through a food grinder. There should be about 2 cups.
  4. Put the scallions, celery, and parsley into the container of a food processor or an electric blender and blend. There should be about 1 cup.
  5. Chop the garlic and anchovies together.
  6. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add the scallion mixture. Stir about 1 minute and add the anchovy mixture. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute and add the spinach. Stir to blend.
  7. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Blend, stirring with a wire whisk, and add the oyster liquor, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Stir in the cream. Season with Tabasco. Do not add salt. Add the spinach mixture and Pernod. Let cool.
  8. Spoon equal portions of the mixture on top of the oysters and smooth over the tops. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until piping hot.