Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oysters Pablo

This picture may not do these justice but you're just going to have to take my word. Now I know that coming home after work and shucking oysters isn't anyones idea of a good time but if you are having company over the weekend and want to get the party started in your mouth you should give these suckers a shot.

I went to Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen (again) for an after work beer today and I couldn't help but order some of Pablo's Oysters. He has been told time and time again that they are very, very addictive. And they are.

Oysters Pablo
(serves 6)

These oysters have a rich, garlicky chile kick, and I’ll bet you can’t eat just one. They were on the opening menu of Miramonte, and they continue to be a hit at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. People have told me they’re addictive. I think it’s the oyster-garlic combo. Chipotle chiles are smoked dried jalapeños: for this recipe, buy the chipotles canned in adobo sauce. Adobo is a somewhat spicy sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and vinegar. Both the chipotles and the sauce have multiple uses, so don’t throw out the leftovers. I figure on three to four oysters per person, depending on the group and the rest of the menu.

Most of this dish can be prepared way in advance. You can make the sauce and the spinach a day ahead. Shuck the oysters a couple of hours ahead, and loosen them from the shell. Final preparation will just take three to four minutes.

2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced shallots
11/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon good-quality tequila
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (loosely packed) grated Asiago cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spinach 1 pound fresh spinach leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced

18 to 24 Hog Island oysters or other midsize, briny oysters

Minced fresh parsley, for garnish For the sauce, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed. For the spinach, remove the stems and wash the spinach well. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute, making sure they don’t brown. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, until the spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how wide your pan is. Spread the contents of the pan out on a baking sheet and put it in the fridge immediately to cool quickly. When it is cool, squeeze the spinach to get rid of any excess liquid, and chop coarsely. Place the spinach in a bowl, mix in the chipotle, and taste. If you want a little more spice, stir in a little of the adobo sauce from the can. Set the spinach aside until needed.

To prepare the oysters, fill a large bowl with 2 to 3 inches of ice and water (heavy on the ice) and place a smaller bowl on top to hold the shucked oysters, with as much of their liquor as you can. Shuck the oysters, reserving the cupped sections of the shells. This can be done ahead, but be sure to keep the oysters and shells cold until you are ready for the final preparation.

Preheat the oven to 500oF. Unless you have one of those metal plates that have indentations for the oysters to sit nicely in, use a baking dish that will hold them snugly, or put a 1/2-inch layer of salt in a baking pan and nestle the oysters into the salt. This will keep them from tipping over when you move them in and out of the oven or under the broiler.

To cook the oysters, put 1 tablespoon of spinach in the bottom of each reserved shell and top with an oyster. Spoon any reserved liquor over the oysters, followed by about 3/4 tablespoon of sauce over each. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, keeping a close watch on them and removing them as soon as they are golden brown and bubbly. If they haven’t reached this point when 8 minutes is up, pop them under the broiler for a moment or two. Sprinkle with minced parsley and serve with cocktail forks

1 comment:

Kayla said...

i had these oysters last night at Cindy's and they were to die for! I am so happy I found the recipe because I will be creating these for my guests, they are simply amazing.