Friday, November 2, 2012
Here is some information about a well-known dish that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana called Oysters Rockefeller:
Oysters Rockefeller is a dish that consists of oysters topped with ingredients such as parseley, other green herbs, bread crumbs and a rich butter sauce, served on the half-shell. The dish was originated in 1899 by one Jules Alciatore, the son of the founder of the famous New Orleans restaurant, Antoine's.
The dish was named after the richest man in the United States at the time, John D. Rockefeller. Alciatore developed Oysters Rockefeller in the face of a shortage of French snails, substituting the locally available oysters for snails. Antoine's has been serving the original recipe dish since 1899. Although many New Orleans restaurants have claimed to be serving the original version of the dish, Antoine's has refuted their claims, stating that no other restaurant has successfully duplicated the original recipe. The restaurant also claimed that Alciatore' original recipe for the dish was passed down to his children, and has apparently never left the family's hand.
Here is a recipe (probably not the original) for Oyster's Rockefeller:
1 pound butter
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 bunches green onions, finely chopped, about 2 cups
1 bunch parsley, fine chopped
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon Pernod, Anisette, or Herbsaint
1 1/4 cups seasoned bread crumbs
4 dozen oysters in their shells
Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the celery, scallions and parsley. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the Worcestershire and Tabasco. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Add the Herbsaint or Pernod and bread crumbs; cook for 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, until cold but not firmly set. Shuck oysters. Discard the top shells; scrub and dry the bottom shells. Drain the oysters. Arrange several oyster shells in baking pans lined with about 1 inch of rock salt. Arrange several pans in advance, if desired. Place 1 oyster in each shell. Heat oven to 375°. Remove the chilled Rockefeller topping from the refrigerator and beat it with an electric mixer to evenly distribute the butter and infuse air into the mixture; transfer the mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe a tablespoon of the mixture onto each oyster, then bake in a 375° oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Allow about 6 oysters for each guest. If possible, bake these in batches of 6 in oven-safe pans, so each person can be served a pan of hot Oysters Rockefeller right out of the oven.