Spring trio: rosemary citrus butter, harissa and rockefeller

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as an appetizer.

Ingredients (rosemary citrus butter)

1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tsp shallot, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
24 Hog Island Sweetwater oysters
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
Rock Salt, optional for broiling and serving

Ingredients (harissa oysters)

8 ea Piquillo peppers
2 ea Arbol dried chiles
1/2 Tbs Cumin, ground fine
1/2 Tbs Coriander, ground fine
1/4 C Italian Parsley, rough chopped
1 ea garlic clove, peeled
Extra Virgin olive oil as needed
24 ea HIOC Sweetwater oysters
Rock Salt, optional for broiling and serving

Ingredients (rockefeller oysters)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup bread crumbs or Panko
2 shallots, minced
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 tbls Pernod
1/8 cup heavy cream or 1/2 n 1/2
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash red pepper flakes
24 Oysters, small or med. (Sweetwaters)
Rock salt, optional for broiling and serving

Method (rosemary citrus butter)

Combine and mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixing bowl. Put butter mixture in a glass jar with lid, or similar re-usable container, and place in refrigerator to chill and harden. Or, spread butter onto wax paper in the rough shape of a log, roll the paper and tie at ends and place in refrigerator to harden. Butter can be made up to one week in advance and kept in refrigerator until use.

Method (harissa oysters)

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process on high. Slowly drizzle olive oil as needed to emulsify. It should have the consistancy of a thick ketchup. Place Harissa sauce in a glass container with lid or a squeeze bottle, and refrigerate. Can be made up to one week in advance and kept refrigerated.

Method (rockefeller oysters)

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 2 minutes until the spinach just 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 over medium heat.

Method (Oysters)

Rinse oysters in the shell; discard any open shelled oysters that do not close when tapped. Working with a dozen oysters at a time. Shuck and 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 lined with rock salt so that the oysters do not tip and spill their liquor. Place one heaping teaspoon of a sauce mixture on each oyster. For the oysters Rockefeller, top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Place oysters on medium-hot grill over open fire or on oven safe dish lined with 1/4 inch rock salt (to keep the shells level) and place under a broiler. Grill, or broil, for approximately 5-10 minutes.

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