If there is one shellfish I had to learn to love, it’s oysters. But when I finally decided that I truly loved oysters, I became a wee bit obsessed. Thus began my fascination with cooking and baking with oysters. Which is how this lovely Oysters Mornay happened.
Actually, I was testing several different recipes for Oysters Rockefeller a few years ago and I’ve decided I really love my baked oysters covered with a sauce and maybe some cheese and a little something crunchy for added texture.
In the beginning I made a boozy béchamel to use on my baked oysters but then I decided it needed more than just a boozy béchamel. It needed a Mornay. Mornay sauce is much like a boozy béchamel but with cheese. Gruyère to be specific.
I also love the spinach included in Oysters Rockefeller so why not just merge the two recipes and call it grand! To complete this opulent little shellfish recipe, I top the Oysters Mornay with a Panko and grated parmesan and bake.
The result is a spinach laden baked oyster topped with boozy cheese sauce and crunchy Panko. Who’s hungry now?
These Baked Oysters Mornay are so fun (and sort of messy) to make and even more fun to eat. They work well for a light dinner with a glass of white wine or as a starter for dinner guests.
Now you’re probably thinking, I’m not shucking all those oysters only to bake them in boozy cheese sauce. Me neither. However there are two methods to securing oysters for your Baked Oysters Mornay. Often times you can find them in jars in the seafood area of your market. They will come in size small, medium or large. You want to purchase the small or medium oysters. They’re sweeter and tastier. As well, some seafood markets sell shucked oysters just like they sell shelled crab or shrimp.
I know you’re wondering how to find oyster shells. I found stainless steel oyster shells online here. They work beautifully for this recipe. Or, I ask my fishmonger if they’ve got fresh oyster shells they can give me. The fresh oyster shells only last one or two recipes but they look great on the platter. However, the stainless are just as easy and also create a lovely presentation.
This is such a festive recipe for the summer and I promise it’s easy to prepare and it’ll impress your guests.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
- One dozen shelled oysters
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warm
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere or aged Swiss
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked and squeezed spinach
- 1 lemon
- Dash of tabasco
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese