Wood Oven Baked Oysters
By Rob McDaniel
This recipe works well with any type of oven – wood or traditional – as well as on a grill with the top down.
12 oysters in the shell (Apalachicola oysters are preferred)
¼ cup small diced smoked bacon
½ cup small diced onion
1 bulb of fennel small diced
1 quart fresh baby spinach
½ quart heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1 teaspoon minced parsley
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Wash your oysters well and shuck them. Try to keep all the oyster liquid in the shell. Place oysters on a cookie sheet and refrigerate while making the filling.
Cook bacon and render the fat. When it has browned a little, add onion and fennel. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add cream and reduce heat to medium. Cook until reduced by half, then add spinach. Once spinach is wilted, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and cool.
Cube day-old bread and put cubes into a food processor. Pulse to make crumbs, then transfer to mixing bowl. Add zest, thyme, parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add melted butter. Place a tablespoon of cooled filling on top of each oyster, then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Place under a broiler until bread crumbs are browned and enjoy.
Rob McDaniel, executive chef and general manager at Springhouse Restaurant, earned a bachelor’s degree in restaurant and hotel management from Auburn University and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute.