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Monday
Jun232014

Oysters Mornay

Pictured: Oysters Mornay

I love popping in to David Jones Food Hall with my mum and sneaking a dozen oyster mornay each and a glass of wine in between shopping jobs. It is such a treat. And is why the recipe is in the mains section as I think it can be a meal in itself if served with a salad.
The DJ's oysters are still not a patch on the Davies recipe, which we have every Christmas. A freshly made batch of Béchamel sauce is hard to beat. A large platter placed on the table with spoons strewn around for people to tuck in – they take a little time to prepare and disappear in minutes! But everyone feels like they have had a bit of luxury – a seafood specialty.

A dozen or two or three.. rock oysters
Béchamel Sauce – enough for a spoon into each! follow the recipe linked to the Mushroom Moussaka
Panko Crumbs
Grated cheddar cheese
Fresh pepper

The main effort comes in the prepping of the Béchamel Sauce – in this recipe we like to keep it simple yet we do add a dash of sherry, a pinch of nutmeg, not too much cheese though – enough to add an edge but you should almost not taste it in the sauce, the cheese flavour should all come from the melted crunchy top, and the sauce be a creamy, smooth finish coating the oyster.
Once the sauce is made, turn the grill onto high to warm up, you then need to make the effort to lay the oysters carefully on the oven tray where they are facing upwards to hold as much sauce as possible and leaning on an oyster if necessary to stay in this position and not tip over – treat it like a puzzle for a moment and set them out well.
Spoon as much béchamel into each oyster without it spilling out, top with grated cheese then panko crumbs, a grind of pepper.
Place the tray just under the top shelf – you want it near the top though to grill quickly as the oysters only need to be hot, but not really cooked, and the cheese needs to melt fully, and the crumbs browned.
As soon as you can see the sauce is bubbling and the crumbs are nicely browned, take them out and serve. If they are browning too fast lower the tray, if they are taking too long to brown then raise the tray so the oysters don’t stew too long and only warm up rather than get nice and hot and bubbling.
Serves as many as you want to make!
Pictured: Oysters Mornay Ready for Grilling