Oysters Casino

RecipeSquare-150x150 In the Northeast, clams casino is a familiar dish on traditional menus. We rarely see the dish in New Orleans (in fact, we almost never eat clams). But I always loved the sauce, and find it spectacular baked on top of oysters on the half shell. It’s also not bad as a casserole with shrimp. Recipe details. . .

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Raw Oysters Mignonette

RecipeSquare-150x150 Mignonette sauce–it’s more like a cold relish, really–takes you just a short step away from eating raw oysters with nothing at all on them. The flavors don’t get in the way of those of the oyster, and the contrast between the metallic brininess and softness of the oyster. . . Recipe details. . .

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February 6 In Eating
February

February 6 In Eating

AlmanacSquare Today in 1935, the board game Monopoly was sold for the first time. Now you can find custom versions of the game for many cities and special interests. But I don’t think I’ve seen one with restaurants as the theme. Let’s see. . . in New Orleans, the inexpensive properties just past GO would be Domilese’s and Dong Phuong. Around the first turn you’d have the opportunity to buy Mandina’s and Liuzza’s. Just past Free Parking you’d have Mr. B’s and Clancy’s and Brigtsen’s. The green properties would be Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s, and Antoine’s. But which would be the ones where Boardwalk and Park Place? August? Commander’s Palace? Square Root? There’s more. . .

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Oyster Rockefeller Soup
Oyster Appetizers

Oyster Rockefeller Soup

I don’t know who had the idea of turning the classic appetizer into a soup, but I do remember when it happened: in the early 1980s, when chefs began realizing that recipes were not sacraments, and that they could play with them. My version uses the flavor profile in the original oysters Rockefeller from Antoine’s. The critical ingredient is oyster water (“oyster liquor”), which can be had from any outfit that shucks oysters. Sometimes even for free, if they like you. Read More. . .

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Oysters Corinne
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Corinne

The memory of Corinne Dunbar’s restaurant, a semi-landmark on St. Charles Avenue for years, is fading away. Which may be just as well, because there was really only one dish that made a big enough impression on the palate that I still hear requests for recipes for it. It’s the kind of dish that you’d never find anywhere in the world but New Orleans: oysters in a thick, savory brown sauce. I received a note from reader Jim Marsalis with his mother’s take on oysters Dunbar. He says her name was Corinne, interestingly enough. I tried it out and thought it was a great recipe. Here it is, with only minimal goosing from me. The presence of margarine in it tells me it comes from long ago. Read More. . .

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Drago’s Char-Broiled Oysters
Oyster Appetizers

Drago’s Char-Broiled Oysters

Drago’s Char-Broiled Oysters Drago Cvitanovich has been the oyster king of New Orleans for four decades–and that’s saying something. Like most other people in the oyster business, he was a Croatian immigrant. When he opened his restaurant in the 1970s, he kept his ties with his countrymen down the river, and as a result always had the best oysters available. Drago’s son Tommy, who now runs the restaurant, created this dish in the early 1990s. It became wildly popular, and restaurants all over town now copy the dish. It’s simple…

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Oysters Amandine
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Amandine

Oysters Amandine This is almost, but not exactly, oysters done in the style of trout amandine. The sauce has a more pronounced lemon flavor than I would use for trout. There’s also a little garlic in there. The sauce is beurre noir–the browned butter used for trout meuniere in the French (and Galatoire’s) style. The almonds cook a little while in the sauce, then come out, leaving almond-flavored butter. 1 cup flour 1 tsp. salt-free Creole seasoning 1 tsp. salt 1 1/2 sticks butter 1/2 cup slivered almonds 2 cloves…

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Oysters With Pepper Butter
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters With Pepper Butter

This is the oyster version of Buffalo chicken wings–a tremendous improvement on the latter. The idea was hatched at Mr. B’s, then spread to the Red Fish Grill, where it’s a signature dish. It’s simple enough, except for the frying part. (Which, of course, is always a mess.) Use a less-hot hot sauce (in other words, not Tabasco or habanero sauce) to make the sauce. Crystal is perfect, but there are many others. When reducing the sauce, make sure the ventilation is good, because steaming hot sauce can burn your eyes. Read More. . .

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Oysters Bienville
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Bienville

Oysters Bienville Few restaurants make oysters Bienville anymore, but that doesn’t make it bad. This classic baked-on-the-shell dish, named for the founder of New Orleans, is seriously delicious. However, there’s no gold standard for the dish. Nobody is sure who invented it, in fact. Arnaud’s, Antoine’s, and Commander’s all make claims, and Pascal’s Manale and Delmonico are also famous for their versions. I’m persuaded that the ingredient list must contain bacon, shrimp, mushrooms, bell peppers, sherry, a butter-based light roux, Parmesan cheese and some lighter cheese, and bread crumbs. Other…

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Oysters Suzette
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Suzette

Oysters Suzette Despite the name, this dish has nothing in common with crepes Suzette, the famous orange-flavored dessert. Instead, it is a savory, slightly smoky, piquant sauce, redolent of bell pepper, created by Count Arnaud Cazenave, founder of the 81-year-old restaurant that bears his name. It is my personal favorite of all the baked oyster dishes at Arnaud’s. 24 large oysters 1/2 stick butter 3 slices bacon, cut into small squares 1 rib celery, chopped 1 bunch green onion tops, chopped 3 sprigs fresh parsley leaves, chopped 1 cup pimientos,…

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Oysters Tchoupitoulas
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Tchoupitoulas

Oysters Tchoupitoulas This was a specialty of the old Tchoupitoulas Plantation restaurant that operated in Avondale from the 1950s into the 1980s. By the time I got there, it was more of an atmospheric experience than a gustatory one. But this dish remained reasonably good, if not one of the great oyster dishes of all time. The bivalves were cooked (overcooked, I thought) in a very dark sauce flavored with Worcestershire and steak sauce. Roy Guste Jr. published what I think was the actual recipe in his book, “100 Best…

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Oysters Jaubert
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters Jaubert

Oysters Jaubert Among the most distinctive of New Orleans dishes are oysters served with various kinds of brown sauces. There must be a dozen such dishes. I’ve never met one I didn’t like. This one is my attempt to recapture a dish served at a long-gone CBD cafe called Guertin’s. My memory was jogged by Jerald Horst, a long-time expert on Louisiana fisheries for the LSU Sea Grant College, who also remembered the dish. 1 quart oysters 1 1/2 sticks butter 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 very ripe green bell…

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Oysters en Brochette
Oyster Appetizers

Oysters en Brochette

Oysters en Brochette This is the first dish I ever wowed people with. Even if you feel yourself very maladroit in the kitchen, you can get the same effect: this is a very easy dish to prepare. All you need is fat, fresh oysters and thick-sliced, smoky bacon. You alternate the two on the skewers (brochettes) and fry them. For a more elegant dish, you can also wrap the oysters in the bacon–but for that the bacon needs to be fried a little first, and the oysters lightly poached. Sauce:…

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Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee
Miscellaneous Recipes

Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee

Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee Chef Daniel Bonnot dreamed this up as a lunchtime dish at Louis XVI back in the late 1970s. The chef he hired to help cook it was none other than Susan Spicer, on her very first cheffing gig. It’s a great taste, and a little strange: the oysters are in the sauce that’s added at the table, rather than in the soufflee itself. Soufflees have a high failure rate for the first few times you make them, but they still come out tasting good, even if they…

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Oyster And Crabmeat Pan Roast
Crab Entrees

Oyster And Crabmeat Pan Roast

Oyster And Crabmeat Pan Roast The oyster combination pan roast at Pascal’s Manale is one of my favorite dishes there. That’s saying something, because it must compete with a host of other good oysters dishes. I’ve never encountered anything quite like it in any other restaurant. The oysters and crab lumps (lately they’ve added shrimp to it) are afloat in a thick veloute with a generous admixture of green onions. It’s topped with bread crumbs and baked until bubbly. As much as I like it, it’s so rich that I…

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Oysters au Poivre

Oysters au Poivre In 1997, my wife ordered me to enter the National Oyster Cooking Competition with this dish. The event takes place in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where the Chesapeake Bay oysters are almost identical to the ones we have in Louisiana. I came in second. But I think you’ll enjoy this, one of my favorite fancy ways to eat oysters. Make sure you provide lots of fresh hot French bread with this–the sauce is the best part! 1 pint whipping cream 2 tsp. mixed dried peppercorns (black, white,…

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Oysters Polo

RecipeSquare-150x150 The Windsor Court Grill Room invented this very unusual baked oyster dish back in the 1980s. After a few changes of chefs, managers, and owners, the memory of the dish has departed from their kitchen. Thank goodness we did this one on one of my television features. It’s one of the most unusual of the many baked oyster dishes in New Orleans. The sauce is rich with cheese, sharp with horseradish, and crusty with bread crumbs. Although the classic restaurant way to serve this is on the shells, it comes out just fine in gratin dishes.

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Oysters Dunbar

RecipeSquare-150x150 Next to the Holy Grail, the most difficult thing in the world to find is a recipe from a restaurant that is no longer in business. I’m asked for them at the rate of about one a week. Some such requests come up again and again. I think I have been asked for this one at least a hundred times.

Corinne Dunbar’s was a unique restaurant on St. Charles Avenue that operated more like a private home. It had a fixed menu each day, and you never knew what you’d be served. But you hoped it would be oysters Dunbar, the restaurant’s most famous dish. It was an oyster-and-artichoke casserole, and although I have never been able to obtain an authentic recipe from original sources, I’ve been able to piece together enough facts about it to come up with this one. At the very least, it seems close to what I remember from the one time I went to Dunbar’s in the early 1970s.

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Oysters Jean-Baptiste Reboul

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RecipeSquare-150x150 Although he has been gone from this world for over a decade, the influence Chef Chris Kerageorgiou has on New Orleans chefs remains strong. Here is a recipe that Chris named for one of his own inspirations. Jean-Baptiste Reboul was a chef in Marseilles–Chris’s home town–in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In his honor Chris created this baked oyster dish in the early years of his restaurant La Provence. It’s a classic restaurant recipe in that you can make the sauce well in advance, storing it in the refrigerator until needed. Then you spoon the sold sauce over the cold oyster and put a tray full of them into a hot oven until they bubble and brown. I hadn’t made this in a long time, but it’s still good. Read entire article.

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Tom’s Broiled Oysters

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is a dish I improvised one day when I had some beautiful oysters that I needed to use soon, and only fifteen minutes to cook and eat. To my palate, this is one of the best oyster dishes I’ve ever had, and one of the best dishes I’ve ever devised. If someone hasn’t beaten me to it, which is possible, since it’s almost ridiculously simple. ΒΆ The first time I made this, I was in so much of a rush that I used all dried herbs. That worked fine, but it was much better with fresh herbs–even if the only one you can get is parsley. . Read entire article.

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Oysters Rockefeller

RecipeSquare-150x150 The most surprising request for a recipe I ever received came from Bernard Guste, the fifth-generation proprietor of Antoine’s. He wanted to use my recipe for oysters Rockefeller. His reason was that since Antoine’s own recipe (they invented the dish, I’m sure you know) is a secret, they needed something to give the many people who ask for it. He told me that my recipe is “embarrassingly close” to the real thing. I’m flattered. And if I say so myself, he’s right. It took me about fifty tries to create a match for the flavor of Antoine’s great specialty. Recipe details. . .

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Oysters Sazerac

RecipeSquare-150x150 This recipe was created at the long-lost Flagons by chef Kevin Curran, who noticed how well the flavor of anise and oysters go together (in oysters Rockefeller, for example). He thought that the anise-flavored Sazerac cocktail might have possibilities as a sauce. He flamed the cocktail over some double-battered fried oysters, napped them with a little butter sauce, and it turned out to be wonderful. Recipe details. . .

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