I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and had oysters rockefeller on the extensive menu. This is a great amuse bouche appetizer to serve, and it is certain to be a hit with your guests. There are lots of recipes out there for this decadent little appetizer, but I know for a fact that this one tastes fantastic. One of the keys to making this recipe is to use fresh herbs as opposed to dried, and do not substitute for non-fat products. It’s supposed to be rich, not fat free!
I made 15 oysters with the following ingredients.
– 15 fresh oysters in the shell
– 4 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
– 4 green onions (use the entire onion)
– Handful of fresh celery leaves
– 6 tarragon leaves
– Handful of fresh fennel leaves (hairy part of the bulb)
– 1 cup of dried fresh bread crumbs (reserve ½ cup)
– 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Tasbasco sauce to taste
– 2 tablespoons of an anisette liqueur. (I like to add this to taste!)
– Rock salt or kosher salt is optional. I like to leave it out because oysters are salty enough without this added garnish.
– 15 quail eggs (optional)
Shuck the oysters, but make sure to reserve the liquid. This liquid will be placed back in the half shell with the oysters.
Chop the parsley, green onions, celery leaves, tarragon and fennel leaves and then mince together as finely as you can. There is no time limit on this process so take as much time as needed to get them as fine as possible.
Mix the herbs together with ½ cup of the bread crumbs and the softened butter. If you have a mortar, this will work best. Work it into a smooth paste, but also maintain a little bit of texture. Season this paste with the salt and pepper, Tabasco, and liqueur. (The Tabasco I used happened to be straight from New Orleans, and I don’t care what anyone says – it just tastes better!)
Preheat your broiler. If you’re using the salt, spread it over a large baking sheet. Place the shells on the baking sheet, making sure they are level. Place one oyster in each shell, plus a little liquid from the oysters. Spoon an equal amount of the herb butter over each oyster.
Place the baking sheet in the middle rack and broil until the edges of the oysters have curled and the herb butter is bubbling. This should be about 5 minutes, but watch carefully!
Before serving, top with a delicious fried quail egg on top! This decadent addition really finished this appetizer. If you can’t find locally, order from an online butcher.