New Orleans Poached Oysters in Pernod Cream and Fried Spinach

Photo by Jim M.

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    cup vegetable oil

  • 8

    ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, stemmed, and patted dry

  • 1-1/2

    teaspoons salt, in all

  • 2

    teaspoons unsalted butter, in all

  • l/4 cup minced shallots

  • 2

    teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1/3

    cup (packed) chopped fennel, leaves and bulb

  • 1

    teaspoon white pepper, in all

  • 1/2

    cup Pernod

  • 1

    cup heavy cream

  • 24

    large freshly shucked oysters, with their liquor

  • 2

    teaspoons Creole Seasoning

  • 4

    fresh fennel sprigs

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. 2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add about one-third of the spinach and lightly stir-fry until crisp, for about 1 minute. Drain the spinach on paper towels. Repeat in 2 more batches. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Keep warm on a baking sheet in the oven. 3. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in another large skillet over high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the shallots, garlic, fennel, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, for about 2 minutes. 4. Remove the skillet from the stove. Holding it at a distance from the burner, add the Pernod. Carefully set the skillet back on the burner, keeping your face away; the Pernod should flame. If it doesn't, don't worry, just continue to cook it in the same way: Simmer for 1 minute, whisk in the cream, and cook for 2 minutes. 5. Reduce the heat to medium. Fold in the oysters, with their liquor, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook just until the edges of the oysters begin to curl, for about 2 or 3 minutes, depending on their size. Remove immediately from the heat. Serve, garnished with fennel sprigs, if desired.

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