Chef Folse's Oyster Dunbar

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 3-6 Servings

This dish was named after the great restaurateur, Corinne Dunbar. She had one of the few potluck restaurants. This simply meant that what was in the pot was being served that evening-no options. This dish was a mainstay at her restaurant and later became sought after on other New Orleans restaurant menus.


3 dozen oysters
1 cup reserved oyster liquid
12 oyster shells
2 cups artichoke hearts
1/4 pound butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
3 cups Italian bread crumbs, divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash oyster shells once or twice with hot soapy water then rinse under cold running water to remove soap. Keep shells in cold water until ready to use. Drain and rinse artichokes well under cold running water. Chop 2 dozen oysters and all artichoke hearts into bite-sized pieces then set aside. In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Blend in chopped oysters and artichoke hearts and saute 5-7 minutes. Whisk in flour and stir constantly to create a white roux (see roux recipes). Add cream and reserved oyster liquid, stirring constantly until a slightly-thickened sauce is achieved. Add Worcestershire, Creole seasoning, green onions, basil, thyme and nutmeg. Season lightly with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Cook 7-10 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups bread crumbs until mixture resembles a stuffing. Place 1 whole oyster in the center of each oyster shell and top with equal portions of stuffing. Place oyster shells on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until stuffing is heated thoroughly. It is important for oysters to be hot and fully cooked. Serve 2 as an appetizer or 4 as an entree.