We have to wait awhile for Chef John Currence to be creating cuisine in Old Town but we can still enjoy one of this James Beard award winning chef’s recipes now. Chef Currence was kind enough to send along a holiday recipe for us! It’s got oysters which Miles loves and is excited to try! Here’s future Old Town chef John Currence’s Oyster Madeleine . . .
“This is a Frankenstein of a dish. But it becomes a great Thanksgiving throw-together. All you do is get a bucket of oysters and a bag of spinach and you’re off to the races.” – Chef John Currence
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 lbs. fresh spinach
- 3 tbsp. bacon fat
- 3 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, small diced
- 1 1/2 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup celery
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. crushed toasted fennel seed
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 2 dozen shucked medium oysters
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
- 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.
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Image courtesy of Chef Currence