Use fresh oysters if you can;
note that the recipe also tested well using oysters
packed in jars. If the oysters are very large, cut them
tablespoon all purpose flour
ounces bacon (preferably
sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only;
from 4 large)
teaspoon cayenne pepper
tablespoons dry white wine
tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
medium oysters, shucked, or
four 8-ounce jars shucked oysters
breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
Melt butter in small skillet over
medium heat. Add flour; whisk 2 minutes. Add cream
slowly and whisk until mixture thickens slightly.
Remove from heat.
Sauté bacon in heavy large
skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6
minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from
skillet. Add leeks, celery, bay leaf, and cayenne to
skillet and sauté over medium heat until
vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Add wine and
cook until absorbed, about 15 seconds. Add cream
mixture and bring to simmer. Stir until leek mixture
thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in bacon
and cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day
ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.
Place 1 oyster on each of 20 oyster
shells or place 2 oysters in each of 10 small
ramekins. Top oyster in each shell with 2
tablespoons leek mixture, or top oysters in ramekins
with 1/4 cup leek mixture. Place on rimmed baking
sheet. DO AHEAD Can be made 4
hours ahead. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Divide
breadcrumbs among shells or ramekins. Bake until
leek mixture bubbles and crumbs are golden, about 8