Oysters Rockefeller are a classic New Orleans appetizer that consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with a delicious buttery sauce with parsley, green onions, breadcrumbs and a mix of other green herbs. The original recipe depends on where one grew up. Regardless, with very little effort you can have a fancy little appetizer that everyone with rave about. Whether it’s for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve or just a weekday date night, this easy seafood appetizer will quickly taste like restaurant style oysters.
The most important part of the dish is the ingredients. Make sure to buy fresh and local (if possible) for best flavor. Nothing beats the taste of fresh oysters. The first step includes opening the oysters. Insert the tip of your oyster knife into the back of the oyster and gently twist to shuck the oysters open. You will basically be wiggling the knife between the two shells at the tip of the oyster. Repeat until all oysters are opened. If you do not own an oyster knife, you can try with a flat-head screwdriver as they work almost the same way.
The recipe below is specifically for if you wish to smoke or grill your Oysters Rockefeller but if you are looking to prepare the recipe in the oven, look no further. Just preheat the oven as step 1 and then replace step 9 with placing the oysters in the oven.
20 oysters on the half shell
5 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
11 oz fresh spinach
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 oz white wine
4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
6 oz shredded gruyere cheese
6 oz shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. butter
Zest of 1 lemon
Cut bacon into small pieces. Cook until crispy.
On a cutting board, chop spinach into pieces.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Add shallots and garlic, cook for a minute.
Add the chopped spinach, white wine, heavy whipping cream, cook for 2-3 minutes (just enough to thicken and heat cream).
Add half of the bacon pieces to spinach mixture, stir to combine all ingredients. Remove pan from heat.
In a small bowl, melt 2 tbsp. butter in microwave. Add panko crumbs, parsley and stir.
On a cookie sheet, place the oysters.
Top the oysters with the spinach mixture, parmesan and gruyere. Top the cheese with panko and butter mixture.
Place the oysters on the Pit Barrel®, 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown.
In a serving dish, pour rock salt on base of the dish so it covers the serving dish.
Place the cooked oysters on the salted serving dish. Serve with lemon wedges.
To enrich the flavor of your smoked oysters we highly recommend to generously sprinkle lemon juice before serving. Lemon on seafood is like butter on bread – match made in heaven. Some may also like to add a little twist to the dish by a dash of olive oil or hot sauce. This can absolutely be omitted but so not be afraid of taking this amazing original recipe in your own creative hands. We personally highly recommend you give it a try on a drum smoker or barrel grill if you have only ever had baked Oysters Rockefeller. The smoke penetration will enrich the oyster flavor like nothing you have tasted before.