Oysters Gratin

by gerard on January 30, 2014



  • 3 cups oysters with liquor
  • 1 quart cream
  • 1/3 cup Blond Roux
  • 1 cup leek, minced
  • 1 cup fennel, minced
  • 2 cups cooked spinach – chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks

Blond Roux

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Bread crumb mixture

  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Prepare the Oysters

  1. Drain oysters and reserve all liquid
  2. Chop oysters and add 1 cup to the liquor
  3. In a stainless sauce pot, add 2 Tbl. butter and saute fennel and leeks until softened
  4. In a separate Sauce pot add 1 cup liquor with oysters and the cream and bring to a boil
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes then strain and reserve cream
  6. Saute spinach in remaining butter, salt and pepper to taste
  7. Remove from pan to paper towels and ring out excess liquid
  8. Chop cooked spinach and set aside

Prepare the Blond Roux

Blond roux is cooked slowly over low heat for 8-10 minutes, unlike the dark Louisiana Roux that is cooked over a higher flame until darkened.

  1. In a 1 quart stainless sauce pan, slowly melt butter
  2. Do not get the butter too hot before adding the flour, as this will fry the flour and seal in the glutens which are your thickening agents When butter is melted, add the flour. The ratio is equal parts flour to butter by volume.
  3. Whisk together and cook over a low flame for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. When using roux, put desired amount into a stainless bowl and add liquid to the bowl, whisking to dissolve, then add back to the liquid.
  5. Allow roux to cook in stock or liquid for 15 minutes to cook out any flour taste in the sauce or soup

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Add flour to leeks and fennel. Stir well and cook over low flame for 2 minutes
  2. Add 1 cup of the cream mixture and the seasonings. Whisk well to incorporate. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add Blond Roux
  3. Whisk in well the gradually add remainder of cream
  4. Cook sauce for 15-20 minutes on a very low heat. Sauce should be very thick at this point
  5. Add remaining oysters, cook for 2-3 minutes then remove 4 oz. of sauce to a stainless bowl
  6. Allow to cool for a few minutes, whisk in egg yolks
  7. Add more sauce to bowl to temper (liaison), then whisk mixture from the bowl to the sauce pot
  8. Add cooked spinach. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and transfer to a clean stainless bowl
  9. Whisk sauce occasionally while it is cooling


  1. Spoon mixture into 4"x4" ramekins
  2. Top gratin with buttered bread crumb and cheese mixture
  3. Bake in a very hot oven for 6-8 minutes until bubbling and lightly browned

Serve Oysters Gratin with toasted sliced French bread

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