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(Not so Ordinary) Oysters Rockefeller


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, minced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup flat leaf parsley, picked

1 cup sorrel

1 cup watercress

¼ cup chives

¼ cup tarragon

¼ tablespoon chervil

2 ounces crème fraîche

2 dozen oysters, shucked, placed back in their shells, liquor (juices) reserved

½ ounce absinthe

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ cup parmesan

Pinch white pepper

Additional butter for “dotting” before broiling


  1. For best results, before starting read the instructions through and have all ingredients and equipment in front of you. Then start by placing a metal salad bowl in another bowl half full of ice (efficiency will ensure color of sauce is preserved).
  2. Sweat garlic and shallots in one tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan until translucent. Add all the greens and herbs and cook until wilted.
  3. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender and add crème fraîche, oyster liquor, absinthe, and pinch of the breadcrumbs. Purée until smooth.
  4. Add the puréed mixture in thirds to the pan with the reserved herbs. (Note: You may not need to add all of it…it should have the appearance of creamed spinach.) Quickly cool it down in the icy bowl.
  5. In a food processor, add remaining breadcrumbs, melted butter, and cheese. Pulse to combine. Add a pinch of white pepper to the mixture.
  6. To finish, spoon some of the herb mixture onto each oyster and top with some breadcrumbs. Dot with a tiny piece of butter and broil on the middle rack until golden brown AND hot in the middle. Be sure to test—if it gets brown before it gets hot, place it on a lower rack the next time...that should do the trick!
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