Copyright (2021) from The Delmonico Way: Sublime Entertaining and Legendary Recipes from the Restaurant That Made New York
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
36 raw oysters in the shell
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 ½ pounds spinach, steamed, squeezed dry, and chopped
1 cup corn kernels
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
The Delmonico Way: Serve this recipe on silver dishes as Oscar did, and for a tableside theatrical touch
use a kitchen torch to lightly brown the tops of the oysters.
Delmonico’s claims bragging rights for creating Oysters Rockefeller, pointing to a recipe in Delmonico’s
chef Charles Ranhofer’s 1893 cookbook, The Epicurean. Jules Alicatore may take issue with that by
claiming Antoine’s in New Orleans developed them in 1899 by replacing snails with oysters. What is
beyond dispute is that Delmonico’s made the dish famous. Oscar featured Oysters Rockefeller on his
menus for decades.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2
minutes. Add the milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly, and cook, whisking, until reduced to the
consistency of thick cream.
Shuck the oysters and remove them from their shells, reserving the shells and any juice. Strain the juice.
Place the oysters and their juice in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the oysters are
opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove the oysters from the saucepan with a slotted spoon. Simmer the juice
until slightly reduced. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and
shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and the corn and cook for 5 additional minutes.
Preheat the broiler. Place the oyster shells on a baking sheet. Place a spoonful of spinach mixture in
each shell, then top with an oyster. Top the oysters with additional spinach mixture. Place the cream
sauce in the top of a double boiler. Add the oyster juice mixture, cream, and yolks. Whisk over medium
heat until thickened. Spoon the sauce over the oysters, then sprinkle with Parmigiano. Broil, watching
carefully, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.