Oysters Texasfeller

For the oysters:

Clean and shuck the Texas oysters and remove from shells.  Discard only the top halves of the oyster shells.  Marinate the oysters in a mixture of the buttermilk and hot sauce for at least 2 hours.  This can be done overnight, but must be kept cold.  Dredge the oysters in a mixture of the flour and Creole seasonings until well coated.  Fry the oysters in 375 degree oil for approximately 1-2 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel.

Over medium heat, sweat the shallots and garlic in butter in a sauté pan.  Add the diced tasso, then top with spinach and cilantro. Splash in a bit of dry white wine and cook just until the spinach is wilted. To be safe, the oyster shells can be boiled before using.  Fill each shell with the spinach mixture, then place one oyster on top of each and spoon over a silky layer of hollandaise sauce.

For the hollandaise sauce:

Slowly cook egg yolks, wine and hot sauce over a double boiler while whisking.  When the yolks have doubled in volume, add remaining ingredients except for the butter.  Slowly drizzle the butter in while whisking vigorously.  Season with salt to taste.  Store in a warm place until ready to use.  Do not refrigerate or reheat.  This is a very unstable sauce that must be served immediately.

Chef’s Comments: If I did have one personal favorite dish, which I’m not admitting to, this would probably be it.  That old rule about good oysters only being available in months with an “r” was written in the late 1700s and no longer applies.  Someone, somewhere is harvesting fresh beautiful oysters every single day of the year.  I love the Galveston Bay oysters for this dish because of their plump and juicy size and I can get them really fresh, but any good quality oyster will work.  I can’t even count the number of guests who at one time “didn’t like oysters”, but now come back regularly for their Texasfeller fix.  The briny tangy flavor of fresh oysters, nestled in a light crispy coating with spicy tasso, wilted spinach and velvety hollandaise is a combination that gets people hooked for life.  When anyone asks what the chef recommends, my answer always starts with a question “ Do You like oysters?”

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