|From Nola Cuisine|
As much as I love a well made Oysters Rockefeller, this dish, Oysters Bienville, is my favorite of the baked New Orleans Oysters. I especially love this one as an appetizer for a Christmas meal, it’s richness of flavor is perfect for the holidays.
Although Count Arnaud Cazaname of Arnaud’s Restaurant claimed creation of this dish, his was a recreation of the one he first tasted at Antoine’s, created by Chef Auguste Michel. It is named in honor of Jean de Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, who in 1718, with the help of eighty French exiles, set up a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi river, called La Nouvelle Orleans; now New Orleans. He was also an early Louisiana governor, although he is most well known for being the namesake for this dish. Here is my recipe:
Oysters Bienville Recipe
1 Dozen Oysters, shucked and on the halfshell (PHOTO of these Ersters naked) (How to shuck an Oyster – Quicktime Video)
6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Onion, finely chopped
4 Green Onions, finely sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
6 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
1/2 Cup White Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Oyster Liquor, reserved
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
A few dashes Hot Sauce (I use Crystal)
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and Cayenne, to taste
4 Egg Yolks, beaten
Garnish (not meant to be eaten):
1 1/2 Cups Rock Salt
3 Crushed up Bay leaves
1 tsp Whole Cloves
1 tsp Whole Allspice
Shuck the oysters, drain off the liquor into a small container; reserve. Leave the oysters on the half shell, refrigerated.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.
For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, saute until the onions turn slightly golden.
Add the flour, stirring well to incorporate. Cook for a few minutes until it gets just a bit of color.
Stir in the shrimp, mushrooms, and a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the shrimp start to turn pink.
Add the white wine and the cream, cook for 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, parsley, and hot sauce. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and cayenne; remove from the heat.
When the sauce is slightly cooled, stir in the egg yolks, moving quickly to incorporate and keep them from curdling.
For the Oysters:
Mix the Rock Salt with remaining garnish ingredients. Heat in the oven in a seperate pie tin at the same time as the oysters.
Top each Oyster with about 2 Tbsp of the prepared sauce. Place them in a pan that has a thin layer of rock salt in the bottom, this is to keep the oysters steady.
Bake for 10-12 Minutes then turn on the broiler to slightly brown the tops, for 1-2 minutes. The Oysters are finished when the sauce is heated through and the edges of the oysters start to curl.
Place the aromatic rock salt mixture on a large plate or platter. Arrange the Oysters Bienville decoratively around the plate. Serve.