Apalachicola Rockefeller


Serves 4

¼ pound thick slab bacon, diced

1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon chopped garlic

16 Apalachicola oysters, shucked, juices reserved, shells discarded

¼ cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2 pounds baby spinach, steamed

1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups torn pieces artisan bread 

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese


Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Place bacon in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy.  Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon, and drain away some of the bacon fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons bacon fat in pan.

Turn heat to medium-high and add onion. Cook until caramelized.  Add garlic, cooking 30 seconds, then add reserved oyster juice and wine. Reduce until almost dry, then add cream and reduce by half.

Turn off heat and add spinach to pan. Fold bacon into mixture. Add lemon juice, mix well, and season with salt and pepper.

Divide mixture into 4 individual, oven-safe dishes, or spread evenly into one baking dish. Arrange 4 oysters on top of spinach mixture in each individual dish or all 16 oysters in large dish. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bread, tossing to coat evenly in oil.  Season with salt and pepper and continue to toast bread, stirring frequently,
3 to 5 minutes.

Arrange croutons on top of oysters. Sprinkle with Pecorino and lemon zest.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture is bubbling and croutons are browned. Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn