One of the preparations that I learned form Chef Chris Canan during his stint at the Columns Hotel on Saint Charles Avenue in the mid-1980’s was this buffet preparation that became a guest favorite and one of mine too. Using fresh oysters this recipe features options for both buffet and a la carte service and can be served with rice or pasta as this recipe suggests.
Oysters Bayou Teche
Yield: 1 ½ gallon approximate
2 lb. Bacon, diced
2 cups Onions, diced
2 each Red bell peppers, julienne
1 Tbsp Shallots, minced
¼ cup Garlic, minced
1 lb. All purpose flour
1 quart White wine
1 quart Oyster liquor
2 cups Chicken stock
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Sage, fresh, chopped
1 lb. Spinach leaves, fresh, and coarse chopped
½ gallon Oysters
To taste Salt and white pepper
½ cup Chives, chopped
- Cook bacon until crisp and remove to paper towel lined sheet pan.
- Sauté the onions, red peppers, shallots and garlic in the bacon grease until translucent.
- Add the flour to make a roux and cook until blond stage.
- Whip in the white wine and then the oyster liquor.
- Add the chicken stock if sauce is too thick, then bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add the Worcestershire Sauce and fresh chopped sage, then the fried bacon and the chopped fresh spinach leaves and stir well. Continue to simmer until the spinach has wilted into the sauce.
- Gently fold in the oysters and simmer until just cooked through.
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper and garnish with the fresh chopped chives.
- A la Carte Service: This sauce can be served over angel pasta for an a la carte menu item. Remember to prepare the complete sauce without the oysters and chives. On command heat 8 ounces of sauce to order and add 6 oysters to cook through and then garnish with the fresh chives. For variations you can add this sauce as an accompaniment to other seafood items such as grilled swordfish or tuna.
- For buffet service prepare the full recipe and have in it’s own chaffing dish or mixed in with angel hair or other pasta, then garnish with the fresh chopped chives.