For 33 years, Bob Silva worked with International Packaging in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, ultimately as Corporate Vice President heading up the International Accessories Division. In 1992, Bob and his wife purchased their home in Hyannis Port where, every weekend after a full and hectic week, they would come down to the year round summer house and, as Bob puts it, “recharge his batteries.” After making the decision to retire in 2003, Bob and his wife renovated their summer home so it would have a new kitchen for Bob’s cooking pleasures and a Great Room to relax in.
Bob’s passion for cooking soon became a retirement commitment. He took over the day to day cooking in his new kitchen complete with a Viking range (a commercial range made for residential living) and has been making gourmet meals ever since. Bob testifies that he can actually taste a meal before he even makes it.
Shellfishing was an early childhood requirement for Bob as his grandmother would task him to go and dig up steamers as well as periwinkles before they started to cook together. This is how he combined shellfishing with his cooking skills. Bob remembered some of the ingredients to an Oysters Rockefeller recipe his grandmother had and, expounding on this, he came up with the recipe for Bob’s Oysters Rockefeller.
Over the next few months we will be posting a sampling of recipes from “The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes”. These recipes are from members of the B.A.R.S. Board of Directors, their families, friends, and associates. The cookbook includes Appetizers, Soups, Main Courses, Desserts and This & That. There are helpful cooking hints throughout this very unique Cape Cod cookbook.
“The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes” is available for $17.00 by clicking this link to the B.A.R.S. website . http://shellfishing.org. All proceeds from this cookbook go to scholarships and the promotion of the BARS Mission Statement.
For further information on BARS and its Mission Statement go to http://shellfishing.org/.
Now enjoy the recipe for Bob Silva’s Famous Oysters Rockefeller!
Bob Silva’s Oysters Rockefellerappetizer
36 fresh oysters on the half shell
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons finely minced fresh spinach (you can also use frozen spinach)
3 Tablespoons finely minced onion
3 Tablespoons finely minced parsley
5 Tablespoons homemade bread crumbs (you can use Panko)
Tabasco Sauce to taste – a couple of small shakes
½ teaspoon Pernod or use Sambuca
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped – Optional
1 cup fine bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Rock Salt or Aluminum trays with ridges –they hold the oysters in place beautifully
Lemon wedges for garnish
-Using an oyster knife, pry open the oyster shells and remove the oysters and their liquor to a bowl. Discard the top shells and scrub and dry the bottom shells.
-In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add spinach, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, Tabasco, Sambuca and salt. Cook, stirring constantly , for 15 minutes.
-Remove from heat. Press the spinach mixture through a sieve or food mill; let cool. Note: mixture may be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Can be kept for 2 days in an air tight container.
-Preheat oven broiler. Set oysters in the shells in the rock salt or in aluminum trays making sure they are level.
-Place a little of the reserved oyster liquor on each oyster. Spoon an equal amount of the prepared spinach mixture over each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell.
-Broil approximately 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have curled and the topping is bubbling. Note: Watch carefully!
-Garnish the plates or platter with the parsley and the lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings or 36 appetizers.