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Baked Oysters Mornay

Baked Oysters Mornay // Karista's Kitchen

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?

Baked Oysters Mornay // Karista's Kitchen

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,

Karista

Baked Oysters Mornay

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 375F.
  • Place the oyster tins (or shells) on a baking sheet and place one oyster in each tin.
  • Mix together the parmesan and Panko bread crumbs. Set aside.
  • In a sauce pan over medium heat add the butter. When the butter is melted stir in the flour. Let the flour and butter cook for a minute or two and then slowly whisk in the warm milk. Just as the sauce thickens add the 1/4 cup white wine. Then stir in the pinch of nutmeg and shredded cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly salt and pepper the cooked spinach and place a little on each oyster. Then drizzle a tablespoon or two of Mornay sauce over the spinach and then top with the parmesan and Panko bread crumbs mixture.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until bubbly and the tops are golden brown. Often times the tops don't brown well enough for me, so I place the baking sheet under the broiler for a minute to get the color I like.
  • Remove the oysters from the oven and give them a squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately with Tabasco.
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    Sauces, Salsas and More Seafood

    Salmon Crepes Mornay and Salmon Giveaway!

    Crepes are so easy to make.  Really.  Once you get the hang of it, its just like making pancakes.  Nope, I’m not crazy (I know that’s what you’re thinking) just completely in love with crepes.  Crepes are fun food.  They make dinner a little more special, or dessert a little more tasty and make the loveliest of presentations. 

    I wanted to create a recipe using canned Alaskan salmon sent to me from my friends at Pure Alaska Salmon Co. in Bellingham, Washington.  Actually, I don’t even need a recipe for this salmon.  It’s so good I usually eat it right out of the can.  Sometimes I mix it with a little lemon juice, homemade mayo and season it with a pinch of salt for a delicious salmon salad sandwich. 

    The Redhead canned salmon makes the yummiest filling for these delicious savory crepes Mornay.  Simply prepared and then richly sauced, it’s decadence on a plate! 

    Pure Alaskan Salmon

    Shirley Zuanich, Owner of Pure Alaskan Salmon  Co, has generously sent me a case of her canned salmon for recipe testing and a case to giveaway!  An entire case of Pure Alaskan Salmon Redhead, wild sockeye salmon from Alaska.    All you have to do is leave a comment about the post and how you would use canned salmon in a recipe.  Karista’s Kitchen will choose one reader from the comments to receive the case of salmon.

    The contest will last for one week, from June 28th – July 5th.  In the meantime, if you’d like to try this delicious salmon you can find it at Whole Foods, PCC Natural Markets and on the website Pure Alaskan Salmon Co.  Check out the website for fabulous information and health benefits of this sustainable canned salmon. 

    Can’t wait to read all the recipe ideas.  Good luck everyone!

    Salmon Crepes Mornay

    Ingredients

    8 – 10 crepes (crepe recipe below)

    2 cans Pure Alaska Salmon Co. Redhead or ThinkPink

    1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mixed herbs (thyme, Italian parsley, oregano, chervil, marjoram, basil, chives)

    Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Sauce Mornay (sauce recipe below)

    Chopped chives for garnish

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    In a saute pan, add a tablespoon of butter and saute shallots for a minute or two or until fragrant and wilted. 

    In a medium bowl, mix together the two cans of salmon, shallots, and mixed fresh herbs.  Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

    For each crepe, mound a generous 1/4  cup of the salmon mixture in a log shape in the center of the crepe. Fold over about 1/2 inch of the side edges to hold in the filling, then roll the crepe up.  Place the crepes seam side down in a greased baking dish. 

    Ladle the Mornay sauce over the top, and then place in the oven and let the crepes bake for about 15 – 20 minutes.

    Garnish with fresh chopped chives and serve immediately. 

    Basic Crepe Recipe

    I love this website for visual instructions http://gourmetfood.about.com/od/cookingtechniques/ss/crepes.htm

    Makes 12 crepes, or six servings.

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 cups milk (maybe a little more)
    • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl (an electric whisk works great).   Add the flour, 1/2 the milk, vegetable oil, and salt and begin whisking. Pour in the remaining milk as you whisk – this helps to ensure a smooth batter. Depending on the size of the eggs, you may need to add a little more milk. The consistency of the batter should be about like heavy cream. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to age for an hour.

    Heat a 10  inch round non stick crepe pan  or a 12 inch non stick pan on medium heat until hot. Ladle about 1/3 cup batter into the pan, turning and tilting the pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until the top surface is no longer wet and the edges starting to brown (one to two minutes), then turn with a spatula and cook 15 seconds more on the other side.

    Remove from the pan and place in a folded clean dish towel. Continue making the crepes and stacking them in the folded dish towel. Set aside to use in above recipe.

    Classic Mornay Sauce by Emeril

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups warmed milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
    • pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
    • 2 ounces grated cheese, such as Gruyère

    Directions

    In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is pale yellow and frothy, about 1 minute. Do not allow the roux to brown.

    Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. This is now called a bechamel sauce, and may be used as is to top any number of dishes.

    Stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. If the sauce seems to thick, thin with a little milk.

    The sauce is now called a Mornay Sauce.  If not using right away, cool, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.

    This sauce is also delicious over steamed vegetables!