Grilled Oysters Rockefeller

 

“Hollywood,” as everybody in New Orleans knows him, is the master of the oyster bar at the Acme restaurant in the French Quarter. He is passionate about Gulf Coast oysters and even more so about the proper way to open one. “I’ve been lobbying the state to certify peoples that open oysters. It is an art, just like being a sushi chef,” he bellows. After he showed his technique and schooled me on the New Orleans way to eat a raw oyster (a drop of hot sauce, then slurp it out without your mouth touching the shell), I asked him about his grilled oysters Rockefeller, which I had heard about all over the Quarter. “Damn man, they is good, my neighbors and friends can’t git enough,” answers Hollywood, with his eyes just sparkling. So here it is—one of the best oysters Rockefeller I’ve ever had, and I think you will agree.

What you will need

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 rib celery, finely diced

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and  finely diced

One 10-oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and pressed  to remove all the liquid

1/2 cup milk

36 Gulf Coast oysters, in shell

1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3 Tbs. plain dry breadcrumbs

Lemon wedges, if desired

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