On the one hand, you have an effete, fruity cocktail, on the other, the roguish, bravado oysters Roffignac.
Both recipes are from the most popular restaurant in antebellum New Orleans, which occupied the corner of Royal and St. Peter Streets. Howard Mitcham says that oysters Roffignac was the first baked/broiled oyster dish in New Orleans eateries, and if Howard says so, it’s so.
You’ll not find many oyster recipes that use red wine, and fewer using paprika for actual flavor as opposed to a color accent, but it’s a robust combination. Add this dish to your repertoire as a hearty alternative to a sissy Bienville.
For four servings:
2 dozen fresh oysters in their shells
1/2 lb. peeled boiled shrimp (about a pound raw in the shell)
A half dozen scallions, finely chopped
About a dozen small button mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon paprika
A dash of cayenne
About a half cup of dry red wine
Clean oysters of mud and hangers-on, shuck, and reserve liquid. Heat butter, add scallions, garlic, shrimp, mushrooms, and seasonings. Cook until done through. Dissolve cornstarch in about ¼ cup water, add wine and oyster liquor, and drizzle into hot mixture until thickened. Cool before spooning over oysters and broiling.