Warm Oysters with Leek and Bacon Sauce
- 6 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 lb. leeks, white and light green portions,
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper,
- 24 to 36 oysters on the half shell, liquor
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh dill or snipped fresh chives
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Finely crumble. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan.
Return the sauté pan to medium heat and add the butter. When the butter foam subsides, add the leeks and sauté until they just begin to soften, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the bacon and season with salt and white pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Spread the shucked oysters on the half shells in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake until the oysters plump up and their edges curl, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour the oyster liquor into the sauce and stir well. Return to low heat.
Transfer the oysters to warmed individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the oysters, garnish with the dill and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Preparation Tip: To save time in the kitchen, ask your fishmonger to shuck the oysters, reserving the shells and oyster liquor. Use the shucked oysters within a few hours.
Serving Tip: It is best to serve oysters in the winter months when the waters are icy cold and shellfish are at their peak.