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Oysters Clara

Ingredients

Collard Green Bechamel

1 tablespoon blended oil

8 ounces smoked bacon, small diced

1 cup onion, small diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 bunches collard greens, fresh, de-stemmed, and chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 cups chicken or pork stock

Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese

Fried Oysters

12 oysters in shell

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

Make the bechamel:

  1. In a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add oil. Once shimmering add bacon. Cook until half rendered.
  2. Add onion and stir well to combine. Allow to cook until onions become fragrant and translucent (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add collards and stir to combine completely. Add seasonings. Add stock and stir. Cover with lid and turn heat to low. Cook for roughly 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Taste and adjust flavor with salt as needed. If necessary, add stock back in to adjust consistency.
  4. Pour off excess liquid and reserve. Add cream and stir over low-mid heat. Gently fold in parmesan cheese and stir to make fully homogenous. Cook over low heat until cream and parmesan have melted together. Taste and adjust as desired.  

Fry the Oysters

  1. Shuck oysters. Reserve liquid from oysters together with meat in one small bowl.
  2. Place shells in water and scrub with small brush to free any debris. Place brushed shells in a large heavy bottom pot and cover with water. Bring shells and water to boil. Cook for 20 minutes checking to make sure pot does not run dry. Once boiled sufficiently, rinse in cold water. Lay out on sheet pan with towels to dry.
  3. While shells boil, in a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauce. In separate medium bowl, combine spices and flour. 
  4. In a large heavy bottom pot (or deep fryer), heat oil to 350 degrees. 
  5. Drain liquid from oysters. Dunk drained oysters in buttermilk mixture. Shake off excess liquid, drop them in flour, and toss gently to coat. 
  6. Drop oysters gently in fryer. Fry until oysters float, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and season with salt. 

Assembly:

Place cleaned shells on a plate. Top shells with bechamel, and place fried oysters on top of bechamel.

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