No better way to start out my week then on “CT Style” In The Bender Kitchen with Teresa Dufour and News 8’s newsest ancor Scott McDonnell! It was a fun meeting Scott and having him there in the kitchen too and Teresa’s aura goes without saying…radiant! Summer is still in full swing so oysters were on my mind and here on CT Style I show you how to make my Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach.
I created this recipe 16 years ago to match a yummy dish I had in New Orleans back in 2001. I have a knack for matching recipes in my test kitchen and that’s what I had done here. The flavors in this dish are a play on the traditional Oysters Rockefeller although with my recipe you don’t have to worry about shucking oysters. I buy my oysters already shucked, flash frozen in their own juices, at my local fish store.
On CT Style I actually used 1 whole quart of flash frozen oysters which contains about 24 oysters. I didn’t quite double the recipe but used 1 1/2 of the amount on the ingredient list. This is a very simple recipe and you will feel like a certified saucier once you taste the outcome.
As for the Pernod, this star-anise liquer is a whopping 40% alcohol although it mellows out quite a bit after simmering for 40 minutes. You’ll end up with a unique and really lovely flavor that’s going to wow you!
One of my favorite things when out a menu for a dinner party is how each dish balances out with the other. To compilment my oysters in Pernod sauce in Pernod Sauce on the CT Style set today I put together a platter of fresh watermelon wedges topped with a very good quality balsamic and feta cheese, sliced peppermint leaves and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. My neighbors have been inspiring me with their watermenlon dishes this summer hence the reasoning behind this combo and what a flavor explosion it is!
The Traveling Epicurean recently presented Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach at a sold out Merrior-Terrior Event at the Madison Wine Exchange where I served up samplings made with fresh shucked oyters. Joe Dolce, Sommelier at The Madison Exchange teamed up with Joe Dimaggio from “Save the Sound” to hold this event. It also featured special guest and owner of Thimble Island Shellfish Company Life Long Waterman & Oyster Farmer, Jonathan Waters, who supplied the scrumptious freshly shucked oysters. Jonathan Water also talked about the remarkable story of the oyster and its history.
The oysters on the half shell served at this Merrior-Terrior event were each paired to a particular wine, spirit or beer that best complements their individual style. The pairings and commentary was presented by Court of Masters Certified Sommelier, Joe Dolce. It was tons of fun! You should look on the Madison Wine Exchanges website for up and coming events!
Ingredients for Oysters in Pernod Sauce with Fresh Spinach – Makes 6 appetizers / 4 course size plates:
NOTE: On “CT Style” the finished sauté pan amount was 1 1/2 of the recipe with 1 Quart of Oysters-24, Raw flash frozen from my local seafood store… it’s all in how many oysters you like!
- 1 pint shucked oysters, fresh or flash frozen raw oysters(12 oysters)
- 1 package 5 0z. fresh spinach
- 1 bottle clam juice plus juice from oysters
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream OR can of coconut cream
- 1 cup half and half OR 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup Pernod plus 1 tsp to add at the end for extra flavor
- 1/2 cup Vermouth or white wine
- 1/4 cup plum tomatoes (pureed)
- 1 garlic clove thru garlic press
- 2 dashes Siracha
- 1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion granules
- 1/4 tsp garlic granules
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary tied off with string
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp Wondra flour
- Sauté/steam spinach for 3 minutes with 2 tbsp water
- Immediately remove spinach to a bowl of ice water to shock, stop the cooking and keep vibrant green color
- Place spinach in a small strainer to squeeze out water then place into a small bowl with paper towels to remove any excess water
- Add all the above ingredients EXCEPT grated cheese, oysters and spinach to a large sauté pan including the juice form the oysters but NOT the oysters themselves
- Note: Make sure to slowly whisk in the 1 tbsn sprinkling of Wondra flour
- Bring to a low simmer, keep simmering on low, stir every 10 minutes for 40 min. (do not BOIL or the cream will break and curdle!)
- Remove rosemary bundle and bay leaves
- Then stir in oysters and spinach and simmer 1-2 minutes just so the oysters cook thru
- Stir in the grated cheese
- Serve with hearty dense Italian bread OR rice noodles…mmm!
- Ganish with finely chopped tomato and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil