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Oyster Madeleine Pan Roast

Oyster Madeleine Pan Roast

(Serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients

3  tbsp. butter
2 lbs. fresh spinach
3  tbsp. bacon fat
3 tbsp. flour
½  cup yellow onion, small diced
1½  tbsp. garlic, minced
¼ cup celery
3  tbsp. heavy cream
½  tbsp. lemon juice
2  tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1½  tsp. red pepper flakes
½  tsp. crushed toasted fennel seed½ cup plus 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2  dozen shucked medium Moondancer or Mookie Blues oysters

½ cup breadcrumbs
1  tsp. grated lemon zest

Preparation

Melt butter in a medium soup pot over low heat; add spinach, raise heat to medium, and stir, turning until just wilted. Remove from pan, turn into a colander, and press water out as much as possible, reserving spinach liquor. Allow spinach to cool, then chop roughly.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt bacon fat and whisk in flour. Continue whisking until roux just begins to turn golden and smell nutty. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and stir until vegetables soften. Stir in ¾ cup of the reserved spinach liquor, cream, lemon juice, thyme, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed, and continue stirring until mixture thickens.

Blend in ½ cup Parmesan cheese and stir in chopped spinach. Combine well. Season lightly to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool briefly.

Stir in oysters gently and pour mix into a large pie tin rubbed with butter. Combine remaining Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and lemon zest; sprinkle over casserole and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs toast.