Baked Oysters Italian-Style with Ciabatta Crouton
- 1/2 cup whole garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup soft-cooked white beans
- 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 pound finely diced pancetta, cooked until crispy, then drained, fat reserved
- Red pepper flakes
- 8 (1/4-inch) slices ciabatta or other Italian-style bread
- 1 pint shucked oysters (approximately 24)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, and sage
- 1/4 cup grated grana padano or Parmigiano Reggiano
- Salt and pepper
For the croutons: In a small saucepan, over low heat, gently cook garlic in oil and wine until tender and golden. Remove garlic cloves and place in a food processor. To the juices in the pan, add enough olive oil to give you 1/4 cup of liquid. Add white beans, sherry vinegar, and lemon juice to the food processor and puree. With the motor running, add in garlic/olive oil mixture. Remove from processor and stir in crispy pancetta, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Spread mixture on bread slices and broil or toast in a hot oven until heated and slightly bubbly.
For the oysters: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Put oysters into a bowl and check for bits of shell. Butter the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch pie pan and place oysters in pan. Mix the bread crumbs with all remaining ingredients and distribute evenly over the oysters, patting a little. Place pan in the hot oven and bake for about six to eight minutes or until crumbs are brown and bubbling. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
To serve: Mound a serving of oysters attractively on each plate and flank with two croutons.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
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