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Recipe

Oyster Patties

Featured in our 2017 Christmas Guide
Sara Essex Bradley

Servings: 12

“Patties” is something of a misnomer for this old-fashioned New Orleans dish, which is made by filling puff pastry shells with oysters and an herb-flecked bacon-cream sauce. The classic recipe contains fresh thyme, but I prefer fresh sage for its harmony with the bacon in the sauce. Louisiana oysters are ideal for this dish, but if you are near coastal waters with fresh native oysters, by all means use them.

Ingredients

  • 12 ready-to-bake round puff pastry shells (about 3-inch diameter)
  • 12 oz. bacon (not applewood-smoked), cut into 1/2×1/4-inch rectangles
  • Melted unsalted butter (if necessary)
  • 1 quart medium raw oysters in liquor
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 6 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. very thinly sliced scallion (green parts only), for garnish

Preparation

  • Bake the puff pastry shells according to package directions until golden brown and puffed. Use the tip of a small knife to lift off the lids; discard them or save for another use. If the interior of the shells is still a little raw, lightly scrape out the uncooked pastry using the tines of a fork. Set the shells aside.
  • In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. Transfer the bacon fat from the skillet to a heat-proof measuring cup; if you don’t have 1/2 cup of fat, make up the balance with melted butter. Reserve the skillet.
  • Strain the oysters through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl to catch the oyster liquor. Measure 2 cups of the liquor; if you don’t have 2 cups, make up the balance with cold water. Set aside.
  • In the reserved skillet, heat the 1/2 cup bacon fat over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and barely browned, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, whisking to blend thoroughly. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the flour is a very light brown, about 1-1/2 minutes. Whisk in the oyster liquor and cream. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly and scraping the bottom and sides of the skillet as you go, about 1-1/2 minutes.
  • Add the drained oysters, bacon, parsley, sage, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring, just until the edges of the oysters curl, about 2 minutes; do not overcook. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt.
  • To serve, divide the puff pastry shells among 12 warm, small, wide bowls (or put them onto a warm large platter). Fill the shells with the oyster mixture, and then spoon the remaining oyster mixture around the shells. Garnish each with a pinch of scallion.

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