How to Make Oysters Rockefeller

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This classic oyster dish is said to be as rich as a Rockefeller - hence the name. It was created at Antoine's restaurant in the 1890s, but accounts differ after that. Most are certain about one thing, however: The original recipe did not have spinach. This recipe makes two dozen oysters Rockefeller.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • salt
  • 5-6 large basil leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp. chives
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsleys (Italian flat-leaf preferred)
  • 24 fresh whole oysters
  • 1 stick unsalted butters - lightly softened
  • 1/2 c. fresh unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3-5 c. rock salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Heat the broiler.

  • Mince the garlic roughly. Sprinkle the pieces with salt and continue mincing until they're finely minced.

  • Mix the garlic with a pat or two of the butter. Put this mixture in a small heatproof dish of any sort and place it under the broiler. Watch it carefully and remove it when the garlic begins to turn golden; don't let it burn. Remove and reserve.

  • Gather all the herbs and mince them together finely. Place the minced herbs, the lightly toasted garlic, the bread crumbs and the remaining butter in a mixing bowl.

  • Season the mixture with a minimum of salt and a generous amount of cracked black pepper, and stir it together until it forms a rough paste.

  • Arrange a bed of rock salt on an ovenproof plate or platter.

  • Shuck the oysters just before cooking; discard the top shells and loosen the oysters from the bottom or cup shell. Try not to disturb the oyster water, or "liquor," in the cup shell.

  • Spread a generous teaspoon or two of the herbed butter over each oyster and arrange it on the rock salt. Avoid crowding the plate; cook the oysters in batches or prepare several plates.

  • Place each plate under the broiler for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the tops of the oysters bubble and begin to turn golden. Watch them carefully.

  • Serve and eat immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • This recipe holds fairly strictly to the group of oysters Rockefeller recipes claiming to be "original" in that no spinach, cream, cheese or hollandaise sauce is used. Still, many diners recognize oysters Rockefeller as oysters broiled over creamed spinach and topped with hollandaise or cheese. There are many ways to vary this recipe.
  • Some recipes call for a splash of hot pepper sauce or a Pernod-type liqueur to be added to the herbed butter. Other recipes call for oysters to be placed on a bed of sautéed or creamed spinach and topped with hollandaise sauce before broiling. See Related eHows for these recipes.
  • Any variety of oysters will work; just make sure the oysters you choose are as fresh as possible, still alive and tightly closed.
  • You can change the herbs in the recipe to suit your taste. Differing accounts say oysters Rockefeller contained chervil, watercress, green onions and other herbs.

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