I love nothing more than a cold beer and a shucked oyster, so when my partners and I opened Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, we wanted to add them to the menu. We love making them, we love serving them and our guests love eating them. We take a lot of pride in our food, particularly this dish. Apalachicola oysters are the best! We wouldn’t make this dish without them. —Taylor Hicks, Birmingham, Alabama
- 4 slices white bread
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 ounces tasso ham or fully cooked chorizo, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 to 2 dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 dozen fresh oysters in the shell, scrubbed
- Preheat oven to 300°. Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet; bake 8-10 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Break bread into smaller pieces; place in a food processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl. Add melted butter, salt and pepper; toss to combine.
- In a large skillet, cook ham over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until tender. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Add hot sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
- Increase oven setting to 350°. Shuck oysters, leaving oysters in the half-shell. Arrange on a rack in a shallow baking pan; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 8-10 minutes or until topping is golden brown and oysters are plump. Top with sauce just before serving. Yield: 1 dozen (1-1/2 cups sauce).
Originally published as Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream in Taste of Home Recipes Across America 2013, p155
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