Author Notes: I first had Oysters Rockefeller as a college student one summer when I worked in the kitchen of a tennis club. While I couldn't stomach raw oysters (I know – it's a shortcoming!), I loved the baked oyster snuggled in the spinach and anise sauce, and covered with breadcrumbs. This hash is an homage to the real deal.
Food52 Review: This is a dish that I want to make again and again. I loved how all of the ingredients complemented each other to deliver a dish that is not shy or retiring in terms of flavor. I adored how the egg yolks coated the crispy potatoes and spinach and how the briny flavor of the oysters and the olive oil that they were preserved in permeated the entire dish. It all translates into sublime comfort food that can be prepared in under an hour. This is a company-worthy Sunday brunch dish, but we thought that it worked perfectly as a weeknight dinner, served with a crusty baguette and a nice glass of wine. - cookinginvictoria
Serves 2 to 3
- 1 3-ounce can smoked oysters in olive oil (Crown Prince brand)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 slice white sandwich bread
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/8 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 to 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 2 to 3 eggs, room temperature
- Drain oysters in a strainer set over a bowl to catch the olive oil and juices. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 10-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- While the oil is heating tear the bread into 6 to 8 pieces, then use your food processor to pulse the bread into crumbs. Continue pulsing until the crumbs are uniform with no large bits remaining. Transfer bread crumbs to hot oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the crumbs are golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a bowl and toss with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and the crushed anise seed. Set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to now empty skillet (don't worry if there are a few stray breadcrumbs.) Return the pan to the burner on medium heat, and add the onion and fennel. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the onions and fennel have softened and just started to brown, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- While the onion and fennel are cooking, toss the potatoes with the oil that has drained from the oysters, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a microwave safe bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a vent for steam to escape. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring at the halfway point. The potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork when they are done. Set aside.
- Once the onion and fennel have started to brown, add the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and the cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Add the spinach, breaking it up as you add it. Add the potatoes. Stir to combine, then press into a single layer. Cook for about 3 minutes (until the potatoes start to brown), then stir, and press into a single layer again and cook another 3 or so minutes. Coarsely chop the oysters, and if any more oil has drained, add it to the hash. Stir the hash again, and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt, pepper, or cayenne as desired.
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Press the hash into a single layer a final time. Sprinkle the chopped oysters evenly over the surface of the hash. Using the back of a large spoon make 2 to 3 indents in the hash to cradle the eggs. Crack an egg into each indent, season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook until the eggs are just set, about 5 minutes. Divide the hash onto plates, taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle each serving with a generous portion of the breadcrumbs. Dig in!