BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Prep Time: 1½ hours
Yields: 6 servings
Comment: This dish is named after the great restaurateur, Corinne Dunbar, who established one of the most celebrated restaurants in New Orleans. Corinne Dunbar’s, located in Ms. Dunbar’s home on lower St. Charles Avenue, was in operation from the mid-1930s until the 1970s. Once diners gathered, Ms. Dunbar presented a menu that was specifically written for the evening fare, no options. It is said that Leona Victor, the private cook in the home of Ms. Dunbar, actually created this dish, which became one of the most sought-after items on restaurant menus throughout the city. Ms. Dunbar ran the restaurant until her death in 1947 when it was taken over by her daughter.
2 cups artichoke hearts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 dozen fresh-shucked oysters, divided
1 cup oyster liquid
1 dozen oyster shells, cleaned thoroughly, rinsed and soaking in cold water
¼ pound butter
½ cup diced onions
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Creole seasoning
¼ cup sliced green onions
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped thyme
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
3 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs, divided
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Chop 2 dozen oysters into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
In a large, cast iron Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and minced garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring occasionally.
Blend in chopped oysters and artichoke hearts and sauté 5–7 minutes, stirring often.
Whisk in flour, stirring constantly to create a white roux. Do not brown.
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 to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and hot sauce. Cook 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.
Gradually stir in up to 2 cups bread crumbs or just until mixture resembles a stuffing.
Place 1 whole oyster in center of each oyster shell and top with an equal portion of stuffing. Place shells on a large baking pan and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until stuffing is heated thoroughly. NOTE: It is important for oysters to be hot and fully cooked.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.