Oysters Bienville

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Shuck oysters and wash the shells well to prepare Oysters Bienville

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

from The New Orleans Cookbook, Rima and Richard Collin

(for 4)


-½ c (1 stick) salt butter

-1 c finely chopped scallions

-¼ c finely chopped parsley

-1-1/2 t finely minced garlic

-½ c flour

-½ c heavy cream

-1-1/2 c milk

-4 large egg yolks, well beaten

-¼ c dry sherry

-1 t salt

-1 t freshly ground white pepper

-½ t cayenne

-2/3 c finely chopped mushrooms

-½ lb shrimp, boiled and diced fine

-2 doz oysters on the half shell, drained

-4 pans rock salt

Topping (Optional)

-6 T freshly grated Romano cheese

-4 T dried bread crumbs

-3/8 t paprika

-½ t salt


To prepare sauce, in a large heavy saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the scallions, parsley, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until quite soft, about 10 minutes. Gradually stir in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the cream and milk slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture is quite smooth, then add the egg yolks, sherry, salt and pepper, and cayenne; blend thoroughly, then continue cooking over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add the shrimp and continue to cook over low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce is quite thick. Spoon the sauce into a large, shallow porcelain or glass dish, to a depth of 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Let cool for a few minutes at room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours.

Half an hour before baking the oysters, place the pans of rock salt in an oven, preheated to 500°F.

To prepare the oysters for baking, wash the shells well and dry them. Put an oyster on each shell and set them 6 to a pan on the rock salt, spooning 1 heaping tablespoon of sauce evenly over each oyster. Prepare optional topping by spinning all ingredients in an electric blender at high speed for a few seconds, then turning the blender off; repeat several times. Sprinkle 1 level teaspoon of topping evenly over each sauced oyster. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until well browned on top.