Oysters Rockefeller is one of the most beloved recipes to ever come out of the magnificent city of New Orleans. What’s not to love about fresh oysters lightly broiled under a silken green blanket of herbs, butter, bread crumbs and cheese? There’s only one small problem…
…nobody outside of a single restaurant actually KNOWS the true recipe for this favored dish!
Oysters Rockefeller was created at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s in 1899 by Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant’s founder.
The dish was named oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the intense richness of the sauce and its dollar bill green color.
Though the original recipe is a secret, the sauce is known to be a purée of a number of green vegetables and herbs other than spinach. It is estimated that Antoine’s has served over three million, five hundred thousand orders.
Though many restaurants now serve dishes claiming to be oysters Rockefeller, Antoine’s asserts that no other restaurant has been able to successfully duplicate the recipe. Since the recipe for oysters Rockefeller was passed down from Jules Alciatore to his children, and has apparently never left the family’s hands, competing restaurants have had to formulate their own recipes.
Since only Antoine’s knows the ‘correct’ recipe and since I’ve had the privilege of eating their version, this is my take on their, adjusted to my specific taste. If you don’t like it – make your own version, it will be equally inauthentic. 😉
I follow the classic assumption that the recipe has no spinach in it (despite so many pretender recipes that do use it). I use several different herbs with a hint of anise flavor that a proper oysters Rockefeller should have.
I then up the anise ante by adding a touch of Absinthe (every modern recipe I’ve seen uses Herbsaint or Pernod liqueur, but the original 19th century recipe almost assuredly used Absinthe). Don’t worry, Citizens. It is a delicious addition to the recipe and one I heartily endorse. This is my preferred brand.
Enjoy this delectable and rich dish for yourselves, members of TFD Nation – the calories and the effort are all worth it. 🙂
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