Melt butter in a skillet. Place the Panko or breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the melted butter, mix and set aside.
With the remaining butter in the skillet add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod and season with salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes. Add cream and allow mixture to cook down, about 2 minutes. (The Rockefeller sauce can be made up to two days in advance, keep refrigerated)
When you’re ready to prepare your oysters, place oven rack on second to top rung. Preheat oven to 400˚. Line a rimmed baking pan with rock salt (1/4-1/2 inch deep) and place in oven to preheat the salt as the oven comes to temp (10 min).
Shuck oysters, remove top shell and loosen muscle from bottom shell. Keep oyster meat and liquor in the bottom shell and set aside on a clean baking sheet or plate.
Remove baking sheet with salt from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Working quickly, spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a sprinkle of the breadcrumb mixture. When all oysters are topped, return the pan to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble. Finish under the broiler for 1 minute, just to brown bread crumbs.
Serve on a platter over warm rock salt with a lemon wedge garnish and oyster forks or toothpicks for eating. Pair with a Blanc de Blancs or similar dry sparkling wine.
Serves 8-10 as an appetizer
Photo by The Daily Meal
Recipe by Hog Island Oyster Company