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Ostiones à la Lamas

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Ingredients

Oysters

30 Rappahannock River oysters

3 whole poblano peppers

6 strips benton's bacon, diced

½ cup yellow onion, diced

¼ cup Pernod

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons roux (½ cup flour and ¼ cup soft butter, combined)

1 pound fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped

1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup Manchebo cheese, grated

1 cup toasted bread crumbs

Lemon halves to serve

Cabbage Salsa

1 medium red tomato, diced

1 yellow tomato, diced

¼ red onion, diced

1 jalapeño, diced and seeded

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 cup green cabbage, shredded

1 cup purple cabbage, shredded

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Shuck oysters to remove meat, reserving the 30 nicest shell halves. Rinse oysters in a bowl of salt and water. Refrigerate. Rinse shells to remove grit.
  2. For cabbage salsa, combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Roast poblanos until skin is charred. Put peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse to remove skin and seeds, and dice.
  4. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon and onion together until bacon starts to brown and becomes crisp. Add diced roasted poblanos. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Turn off flame. Add Pernod. Turn heat back on to burn off some of the alcohol for about 30 seconds. Add cream. Bring to boil, then simmer for about 3 minutes to thicken. Add 1−2 tablespoons roux to thicken. Immediately add spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add Manchego. Remove from heat. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  7. Lay out 30 shell halves on baking sheet. Add 1 oyster to each half and then top with a tablespoon of spinach-bacon mixture. Make sure the mix is distributed evenly.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to cook. Add a teaspoon of bread crumbs to each oyster. Bake at 375 degrees for 8−10 minutes until oysters are bubbly hot and bread crumbs are browned.
  9. Serve oysters with lemon on a bed of cabbage salsa.
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