My goodness, how long has it been since I posted a seafood recipe? It's the time of year to start eating some oysters...the food of love some say. Others, well, they just flat out don't like oysters. As for me, I love oysters and am still not afraid to eat them on the half shell (raw), but if I can afford them, I am on a quest to concoct new ways to enjoy them.
It's not easy getting decent oysters in East Tennessee. The oysters in this recipe aren't Louisiana oysters and are quite small, but we'll make due!
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Just be careful not to burn the butter. Stir in about 3 heaping tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Cook the roux, stirring frequently, until it turns blond, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/2 of an onions sliced and saute for about 3 minutes, then add in 3 cloves of crushed garlic, continue cooking until the onions are soft, about another minute. Slowly add 1 cup of evaporated milk and 1 cup of whole or reduced fat milk.
Whisk constantly to prevent lumps. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring right to the verge of boiling, then reduce the heat to simmer.
Add in one whole clove.
And one whole bay leaf. I have to stop here. Kaitlin asked me the other night if I would make something quick and simple for dinner and her dad told her, "Your mother can't make anything without adding a bay leaf to it." Wait until he finds a bay leaf in his beer...ok let's move on.
Let sauce simmer for about 15 to 20, stirring occasionally. The sauce will become thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1/3 cup of prepared horseradish. Season with salt and black pepper.
Pour the sauce into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Set sauce aside and let it cool.
While the sauce is cooling, rinse drain and pat dry 3 dozen oysters and preheat the oven to to 450 degrees.
Season the oysters with salt and pepper and lay them in the bottom of a baking dish in a single layer; then pour the cooled sauce evenly over the oysters.
In another bowl, mix 1/2 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs, 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle over the oysters and sauce in the casserole. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Do you want to know the truth? I can't cook with out extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!