Serves 8-10 as an appetizer
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup bread crumbs or Panko
2 shallots, minced
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
2 tbsp Pernod
1/8 cup heavy cream or half & half
Dash of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 dozen Hog Island Pacific Oysters, small or med. (Sweetwaters)
Rock salt and Lemon wedges, for serving
Melt butter in a skillet. Place the Panko or breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the melted butter, mix and set aside. With the remaining butter in the skillet add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod and season with salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flake. Add cream and allow mixture to cook down, 2 minutes. The Rockefeller sauce can be made up to two days in advance, keep refrigerated.
Place oven rack on second to top rung. Preheat oven to 400˚. Line a rimmed baking pan with rock salt (1/4-1/2 inch deep) and place in oven to preheat the salt as the oven comes to temp (10 min). Rinse oysters in the shell; discard any open shelled oysters. Shuck oysters, remove top shell and loosen muscle from bottom shell. Keep oyster meat and liquor in the bottom shell and set aside on a clean baking sheet or plate. Remove baking sheet with salt from the oven and place on a heatproof surface.
Working quickly, spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a sprinkle of the breadcrumb mixture. When all oysters are topped return the pan to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble. Finish under the broiler for 1 minute, just to brown bread crumbs. Serve on a platter over warm rock salt with a lemon wedge garnish and oyster forks or toothpicks for eating.