OYSTERS WITH COUNTRY BACON
Michael Lomonaco of Noche - New York City
Adapted by StarChefs
: 4 servings
Melba Toast, or toast points of Brioche, or Country Bread
fresh oysters, in their shells
Tablespoon unsalted butter
large shallots, (about 1/4 cup) peeled and finely diced
cup white wine
cup heavy cream
Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
ounces bacon, cooked and chopped
cup steamed spinach (optional)
oven to 350°. Using a towel, grasp an oyster in the palm
of your hand. Press the oyster, rounded-side-down, on a
firm surface, still holding it with the towel. Shuck the
oyster by wedging the tip of an oyster knife (regular knives
are too thin-bladed) between the halves of the shell, at
the shell's narrowest end. When the knife tip is securely
wedged, rotate the blade to pry open the shell. Slide the
knife blade along the length of the shell to open completely.
Remove the oyster from the shell and reserve, along with
its juice. From each pair of oyster shells, save the one
that is most concave on the inside, and discard the one
that is flatter. Place the concave shells in a pan of cold
water and scrub inside and out. Place the clean oyster shells
on a cookie sheet and set aside.
Dip the tomatoes briefly in boiling water to loosen the
skins, then in ice water. Peel, cut in half, remove and
discard the seeds and dice.
the tomatoes briefly in boiling water to loosen the skins,
then in ice water. Peel, cut in half, remove and discard
the seeds and dice.
Have the sauce ingredients measured and ready beside the
stove. When you are ready to begin cooking the oysters,
place the cookie sheet containing the oyster shells in a
350° oven. On the top of the stove, melt the butter in a
hot sauté pan until it begins to foam. Add the shallots,
the oysters and their juice, and the white wine. Cook the
oysters for 30 seconds, and then add the heavy cream. Bring
to a quick boil, then reduce to a simmer for just a minute
more, or until the oysters' edges begin to curl. Add the
tomato, tarragon, and bacon. Heat for another 30 seconds,
and then remove promptly from the heat.
Remove the oyster shells from the oven and arrange six on
each plate. Spoon an oyster into each shell and spoon a
little of the sauce over each.
A nice variation of this recipe is to place a "nest" of
steamed spinach in each oyster shell before adding the oysters
and sauce. Serve with Melba toast, brioche toast points,
or toast points of country bread.