Creole-Baked Oyster Casserole - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Creole-Baked Oyster Casserole

Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 10–12 Servings

Comment:

This casserole is ideal as a stand-alone starter course for your next dinner party or as a dip for family get-togethers or even tailgating. The secret to this dish is poaching the oysters first in order to remove most of the liquid then using reserved oyster liquid as stock in the casserole.

Ingredients:

4 pints fresh-shucked oysters, liquid reserved

¼ pound butter

½ cup minced red onions

¼ cup minced celery

¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

½ cup minced button mushrooms

½ cup flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs, divided

1 tsp grated nutmeg

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

1 tsp paprika

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Method:

Lightly spray an 8" x 8" casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepot, place oysters with liquid over medium-high heat 7–10 minutes or until oysters curl and liquid is rendered. Remove from heat and allow oysters to sit in hot liquid. In a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, green onions and mushrooms then sauté 5–7 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring occasionally. While vegetables are sautéing, strain oysters and set aside, reserving liquid. Add flour to vegetable mixture, stirring well to incorporate ingredients. Add heavy whipping cream and 2 cups reserved oyster liquid then cook 3–5 additional minutes. Blend well to create a smooth white sauce. Additional oyster liquid or cream may be added if mixture becomes too thick. Add spinach, ½ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ cup bread crumbs, blending well until cheese is incorporated and melted. Add nutmeg and season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. When ready to assemble, place oysters into bottom of prepared casserole dish. Pour Parmesan cream sauce evenly over oysters. Tap dish lightly to even out sauce then top with remaining bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley. NOTE: This casserole may be assembled ahead of time, allowed to cool then covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350°F. Place casserole into preheated oven and bake 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and slightly browned around the edges.

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