Truth: At our Thanksgiving shoot, there were a few skeptics. (Oyster, what?!) One bite and lives were changed. This dish was the best part of our meal and will be a staple in Tesse homes for years to come. It's comforting, rich and creamy (but those dark greens sure make it seem a little less sinful)! It's smokey from the bacon and crisp from the cracker crust. Just do yourself a favor and make this one.
What You Need:
4 thick slices bacon, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
2 cups heavy cream (or unsweetened cashew milk)
1 tablespoon Slow Roasted Garlic
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
24 oysters, freshly shucked, patted dry, and coarsely chopped
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup fresh crushed saltine crackers (or almond meal)
2 tablespoons Tessemaes’s Lemon Chesapeake
What To Do:
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium until browned. Stir in the onion, garlic and cook until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add as much chard as will fit. Cook, stirring, and adding more chard as it wilts, until all of the chard is added and wilted. Transfer the mixture to a colander to drain. Press down to squeeze out the liquid.
- Return the pan to the stove and add the cream, Slow Roasted Garlic and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then decrease to a rapid simmer. Cook the cream until is reduced by half. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine the chard mixture, cooled cream, and oysters. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a shallow 2-quart gratin dish.
- Preheat your oven to 400. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese and saltine crumbs and Lemon Chesapeake. Sprinkle evenly over the gratin. (Gratin can be made to this point and refrigerated, up to 1 day)
- Bake until the mixture is bubbling around the sides, hot in the center, and the crust is lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes (If cooking from the refrigerator, add up to 10 minutes more and cover with foil if over browning). Let cool slightly before serving.
Tip: We did not shuck fresh oysters for the recipe test. We bought a pint of these from our local Whole Foods. They were outstanding.