PEI Baked Rockefeller Oyster with a Lemon Zest and Pecorino Panko
Photo/Recipe Credit: Chef Riley Smith
12 medium-sized East Coast oysters, shucked
1 box coarse salt
1/2 cup small fennel, diced
1/2 cup small onion, diced
4 cups spinach, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup panko
3 tbsp pecorino cheese, microplaned
1/2 lemon, zested
2 oz brandy
1/2 cup cooking wine
2 Tbsp canola oil
4 Tbsp butter
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup cream cheese (room temp)
Step 1: Place large sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons of canola oil, add onion and fennel, and cook until translucent (about 5-6 minutes) then add garlic. 2 minutes. Once everything is combined, add 1 teaspoon salt and half teaspoon pepper.
Step 2: Afterward turn up heat to medium high, wait 30 seconds, then add 1 tablespoon brandy and 1/4 cup white cooking wine, cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Once the liquid is absorbed, add your spinach, and cook until it wilts, add 1 teaspoon salt and the rest of the pepper. Then add the last of your brandy and white wine, reduce until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Step 3: Place all your filling in medium mixing bowl, add your room temperature cream cheese and mix until all is incorporated and let cool.
Lemon pecorino panko:
Step 1: Place large nonstick pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter. Once melted, add your panko and slowly toast until golden brown. Once toasted, put into a mixing bowl and set the bowl aside to cool.
Step 2: Take microplane (or fine cheese grater) and grate pecorino cheese (if you have Parmesan or Grana Padano those work as well), then zest 1/2 lemon.
Step 3: Now that your panko is cooled, add the pecorino and lemon zest. Really run your fingers through as the lemon zest likes to bunch together.
Building the baked oyster:
Step 1: Preheat oven to 500 degrees. On a parchment-lined baking sheet create 12 salt piles to balance the oyster on. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to each oyster and bake for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Carefully remove baking sheet from oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Top your oyster off with a nice pinch of panko and enjoy!