Oysters LeFleur

This dish is a fusion between a Rockefeller and a Bienville, named for Louis LeFleur, the Father of Jackson, Mississippi, as the Bienville is named for Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, the Father of New Orleans as well as Mobile. Oysters LeFleur is a rich dish, and can be served as appetizer or a luncheon entrée.

A lot of people ask me why my recipes are “vague”, meaning that the measurements in the recipes aren’t exact. I have my reasons, first because I rarely cook with measuring cups and spoons, and I make no apology for that because most people I know rarely do either. Secondly, if I say a recipe is for such and such a number of people, I think my readers have enough wherewithal to figure out how to increase or decrease amounts as needed, and this applies to the use of particularly pungent ingredients as well, since any practiced cook will know to use them in sparing amounts. As a rule, people who read recipes know how to cook, and given a list of ingredients and procedure can make sensible decisions on how any given dish is made. Lastly and most importantly, I do not expect anyone to follow a recipe precisely; somebody might not like fennel, or dill or spinach, perhaps a food allergy might be involved, in which case they’ll either leave it out and substitute something chard or mustard instead of spinach and achieve good results.

That being said, oysters LeFleur are oysters broiled in a thick velouté with spinach, green onions, minced cooked shrimp and a hard grated cheese. The only seasonings are Tabasco, a slosh of dry white wine, salt and white pepper. Diced mushrooms are a wonderful option, as are mild peppers, but to be LeFleur, the dish must have oysters, spinach or a viable substitute as well as shrimp. Drain the oysters quite well, and add the sauce cooled, thick enough to be spooned. If you’re not cooking the oysters on the half shell, put a layer of sauce in your cooking dish, add the oysters and top with more sauce, dust with grated hard cheese and breadcrumbs. A dozen serves two as an appetizer, one as an entrée.