Oysters Marie Laveau

Oysters Marie Laveau

(Air date: February 2, 2016. Source: Chef John Folse.)

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Yields: 6 Servings


Marie Laveau was the voodoo queen of Bourbon Street. Legend has it that the pirate Jean Lafitte often met Marie at the Old Absinthe House late in the evening where they enjoyed oysters on the half shell while trading secrets of Barataria Bay.

Ingredients for Oysters:

3 dozen select oysters, liquid reserved

3 tbsps butter

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp chopped parsley

½ ounce Pernod or Herbsaint

Method for Oysters:

In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and parsley and sauté 2 minutes. Add oysters and cook until edges begin to curl, but do not overcook. Deglaze with Pernod and cook 1 minute. Remove oysters, reduce liquid to half volume and reserve for sauce.

Ingredients for Sauce:

½ cup white crabmeat OR ½ cup chopped cooked shrimp

¼ pound butter

½ cup diced onions

¼ cup diced celery

2 tbsps minced garlic

¼ cup sliced green onions

2½ tbsps flour

3 cups heavy whipping cream

1 ounce dry white wine

reserved cooked liquid from oysters

reserved oyster liquid

? tsp nutmeg

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese for topping, optional

Method for Sauce:

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a 1-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, garlic and green onions and sauté 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add crabmeat or shrimp and sauté 1 minute, stirring often. Whisk in flour until a white roux is achieved then whisk in cream and wine. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly as mixture thickens. Pour in cooked liquid from oysters and reserved oyster liquid. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 10–15 minutes, stirring constantly and adding hot water as needed if sauce becomes too thick. Add nutmeg and bell peppers then season with salt and pepper. Place 6 oysters in each au gratin dish, top with a generous serving of sauce and bake until bubbly. If desired, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top prior to baking. Serve with garlic croutons.