Information and Education Coordinator, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)
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Throughout this holiday season, we will be posting some favorite seafood recipes submitted by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) staff. Check back each week for tasty holiday dish ideas!
The first recipe is brought to you by Paul Caruso, Senior Fisheries Biologist with DMF's Recreational Fisheries Project. A traditional appetizer for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Caruso family harvests their own oysters for this tasty dish.
1 dozen large, or 2 dozen small, oysters
4 slices of bacon
1 small/medium onion, finely diced
1 pound fresh or frozen spinach
½ – ¾ pint heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
~½ cup dry breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Monterey Jack and Munster cheeses, grated, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375oF
Shuck and drain oysters, leaving them in lower shell on a cookie sheet. Use crinkled aluminum foil or rock salt to keep shells level. Set aside.
Cook spinach in boiling water, 5 to 6 minutes, or until water turns green. Drain well and finely chop, set aside.
Cook bacon in a sauté pan until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Mince when cooled to touch.
Sauté onion in bacon fat until lightly browned.
Add spinach, minced bacon, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced. Take off heat, mix well, and add breadcrumbs until mixture is a pasty consistency.
Place heaping tablespoon of mixture on each oyster. Pat smooth with back of spoon if needed.
Top each oyster with grated Monterey Jack and Munster cheeses.
Bake in over until cheese is lightly browned.
Allow to cool, 2 to 3 minutes.
Enjoy as an appetizer or entrée!