When we go out for seafood, my man friend always orders us (me) oysters on the half shell ’cause he knows I LOVE ’em…and he probably thinks they’ll make me a little lovey, too (If he only knew it was actually his choking them down on a cracker, smothered in cocktail sauce, while making cute faces that really blows my dress up. His effort to please is irresistible. That, or I’m just twisted).
There really isn’t anything fancy about half shells, though. They’re shucked raw, put on an ice platter, and that’s it. They aren’t for the weak stomach’d, the pregnant, or those freaked out by slimey textures.
Oysters Rockefeller on the other hand, are. They’re my second favorite, and much more husband friendly. They’re fully cooked, covered in cheesy, rich, deliciousness, that sort of “hides” the oyster.
I’ve never made these delectable goodies before, although I’ve wanted to for years. Man Kelly brought home a dozen fresh oysters *in honor of Shark Week* so, now I will. Join me on my maiden Rockefeller making voyage, and hope I don’t capsized the boat and get eaten by Colossus.
What you’ll need:
- 1 dozen fresh oysters
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 can of beer
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumb
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- 3 tablespoons seasoning salt
- 1 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup of diced onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups fontina and/or Jack cheese
Start by washing and rinsing the oyster shells one by one in cold water. I used a rough bristled kitchen brush, that I didn’t take a picture of. Yay me.
Put the rinsed oysters into a large pot, and pour the can of beer over them (Saw this cooking technique on Pinterest and it looked amazing)
Now add enough water to cover them, and throw in the seasoning salt. Note to self: use bigger pot.
Bring just to a boil, then immediately remove and drain oysters into a colander. Don’t let them boil/over cook. Just like the scallops, we don’t want rubber dodge balls. The shells don’t need to be popping open, either. I googled it.
Using a dull butter knife so you don’t stab yourself, open and remove the top shells and set oysters aside on parchment lined baking tray.
Oyster fact: the dark coloring sometimes found on the edges is actually caused by a natural substance the oysters are eating. Not only is it harmless, but apparently the French go nuts for it. This type of oyster is considered more of a delicacy.
Back to the filling! Sautee the spinach in a sauce pan with a tablespoon of butter.
You’ll end up with a WAY smaller amount after it’s cooked. Spinach is very deceiving…like ex boyfriends and the government.
I mashed it between two paper towels to remove extra moisture. It’s about a cup worth, I should have made more. I ❤ spinach.
Add the rest of the butter to the pan, melt. Add garlic and onion.
Cook over medium high heat about 2 minutes, stirring until onions are softened.
Add spinach and cream cheese (the classic Rockefeller doesn’t call for cream cheese, but I’ve noticed it done at certain GOOD restaraunts, so I’m doing it – SO stinkin’ good!)
Now the parmesan and grated cheeses… stirring until melty/combined
Spoon the hot filling into the oyster shells, covering the oysters completely
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, and broil in the oven until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Keep an eye on them, they brown quickly!
What you’ll pull from the oven is pure heaven my friends. ENJOY!