Oysters Rockefeller For Carl
Makes 18 oysters
4 tablespoons/2 ounces/57g ghee or unsalted butter
2 teaspoons/8g turmeric
2 cups/114 g panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
(enough for 16 oysters)
1/2 cup (114 g) champagne or white wine vinegar
2 shallots (about 45g), sliced thinly
1/2 lemon, juiced (24g)
2 tablespoons plus another 3 tablespoons avocado or other neutral oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (120 g)
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon, 18 g)
4 cloves garlic, minced, (16 g)
1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don't like it spicy!) (14g)
2 teaspoons ground panch poran spice mix (14g)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (3g)
2 ounces Pernod (59g)
1 cup heavy cream (230g)
(total yield approx 350 g, about 1.5 cups >> approx 18 oysters at 1 T each oyster)
18 oysters, on the half shell
rock salt to keep oysters upright
lemon wedges for garnish
Cilantro leaves for garnish
In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. Add turmeric and a couple of good pinches of salt. Simmer slowly to extract the flavors into the butter, about 3 minutes. When aromatic and a rich golden color, remove from heat and toss with panko breadcrumbs to coat well. Taste and adjust seasoning (s&p)
With a mandolin or a sharp paring knife, slice the shallots into thin rings. In a non-reactive bowl, marinate the shallots with champagne vinegar, S&P, and lemon juice. Reserve for garnish.
Place a large non-stick skillet over medium heat 2 T oil, saute the spinach, season with salt and pepper, remove to several layers of paper towels, pat dry, chop.
Carefully wipe the pan dry with paper towels. In the same pan, add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and serrano chile. Season with a pinch of salt. Now here's the important part: saute the mixture until it's evenly toffee-coloured, which should take about 15 minutes. Don't skip this step - this is the foundation of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add ground panch poran and cayenne. If you haven't already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully deglaze with Pernod, it will probably flambee.
Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1 cup of heavy cream, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off. The liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Can be made ahead to this point.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Shuck the oysters and loosen them from the bottom shell. Collect the oyster liquor and stir into the spinach mixture.
Add about 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture to the oysters, arrange on rock salt to keep upright, top with the turmeric-buttered breadcrumbs. Cook for 5 minutes, or until oysters are cooked through, and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy.
Garnish each oyster with a ring of marinated shallot, a couple of cilantro leaves, and lemon wedge. Serve immediately.