For a show-stopping appetizer that will impress your guests, there's nothing like serving up oysters Rockefeller. Oysters Rockefeller was created in New Orleans in the late 19th century. The rich dish gets its name from John D. Rockefeller, who was the richest man in America at the time.
It's a savory, bold dish made with oysters in a cheesy, creamy, buttery spinach sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs and broiled to perfection. Oysters Rockefeller makes a great restaurant-style appetizer any time of the day. Serve them at your weekend brunch, lunch, or with dinner – any time you want to make your guests say “Wow!”
Shucking oysters isn't as hard as it seems, however, you'll need a protective glove to do it. Place the oyster in your gloved hand and hold it firmly. Put the tip of your oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster and twist to open the shell. Cut horizontally around the edge of the shell, then don't forget to cut the oyster away from the shell. It's that simple!
Your first step in making the best-ever oysters Rockefeller is to wash and clean the oysters. Grab your oyster knife and put on your protective glove, and open the oysters. Cut the oysters away from the shells, then put them on a baking tray and stash them in the fridge. Melt your butter in a saucepan, then lightly saute the shallots. Mix in the spinach and cook it until it wilts.
Pour the white wine into the saucepan, and let it simmer for a few minutes or until the alcohol burns off. Stir in the lemon juice, heavy cream, cheese, and pepper, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by about half. Pour the spinach mixture into a bowl and let it cool slightly. Once it cools to room temperature, pop it in the fridge and wait for it to solidify.
Spoon a generous tablespoon of the spinach mixture onto each oyster, and garnish with a dash of panko. Bake the oysters at 375F got 15 to 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Serve them on a bed of rock salt (still in their shells, of course!) with a few wedges of sliced lemon.
You can make your oysters Rockefeller richer and even more decadent by adding chopped bacon as a garnish.
If you don't have or don't care for spinach, you can use other greens like arugula, chard, or escarole. Herbs like tarragon and parsley are great substitutes as well.
In terms of how many oysters per person, aim for 2 to 3 oysters per guest.
If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can completely omit it from this recipe.
Oysters Rockefeller is usually served in their shells as an appetizer. If you prefer, you can serve them without their shells. Instead, try serving them on toasted or grilled bread or over a light green salad.
The best way to store oysters Rockefeller is before broiling them. In the fridge, they'll last for 2 days. In the freezer, they'll last for up to 2 months. Reheat the frozen oysters by baking them for 18 to 20 minutes.
Wash and clean the oysters. Open the oysters with an oyster knife or paring knife. Slice under the oyster to separate it from the shell. Arrange the oysters on a baking tray and place them in the fridge.
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute the shallots over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, heavy cream, cheese, and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by about half.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool slightly. Once cooled, place it in the fridge until it solidifies.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Remove the oysters and the spinach mixture from the fridge. Spoon one tablespoon of the spinach mixture onto each oyster.
Garnish each oyster with a sprinkling of panko.
Bake the oysters for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown.
Serve the oysters in their shells over a bed of rock salt and a side of lemon slices.