Thanks be to the Virginia Oyster

The oyster's place at the Thanksgiving table is steeped in history. Oysters were served at the inaugural Thanksgiving feast and have been a significant symbol of this American tradition ever since. Oysters on the half shell, oyster stew, oyster stuffing, oysters Rockefeller - nothing says Virginia Thanksgiving like serving oysters from the Chesapeake Bay.

Check out Wessex Hundred Executive Chef Ian Robbins' twist on the Classic Oysters Rockefeller!

Twist on the Classic



Recipe is for 6 Oysters

6 Virginia Oysters

6 strips of bacon

1 tbsp of butter

1 tsp of minced shallot

1 tsp of minced garlic

¾ cup of chopped arugula

¾ oz of Absinthe of Pernod

¼ cup of thinly shaved aged gouda


First, place the oysters under the broiler or really hot oven for about 1 minute until they barely open up. Remove, and set aside. Be careful not to spill the liquid out of the shell. You don't want to dry them out.

Crisp 6 pieces of whatever thinly sliced cured meat you will be using.

Then, in a small saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter.

Once the butter is hot, add 1 teaspoon of minced shallot and cook for about 30 seconds until just before it begins to brown. Then add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. continue to cook for about seconds more.

Then add 3/4 cup of chopped arugula and cook about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 oz of Absinthe or Pernod. Cook about 15 seconds more.

Place mixture into a bowl.

Shave some slices of the cheese with a paring knife or vegetable peeler.

Now, pop the tops off the cooled oysters and using an oyster knife or paring knife, sever the adductor muscle that anchors the oyster to the bottom of the shell.

Remove any bits of shell that may have fallen in with the oyster. Those are not too fun to eat.

Now for the assembly. On each oyster, place a piece of the crispy cured meat, add about 2 teaspoons of the arugula mixture, and top with the cheese. Return the oysters to the broiler until cheese is browned.

Let cool slightly and serve.

Suggested Pairing: 2015 Acte 12 Chardonnay (Purchase Today!)

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The Williamsburg Winery
5800 Wessex Hundred
Williamsburg, VA