Brazilian Oysters Au Gratin with Bacon Artichoke Hearts and Mozzarella Cheese
|1 dozen large oysters in their shells|
|3 strips of slab bacon|
|8 oz's of canned artichokes drained and diced|
|1 tender stalk of celery diced|
|2 shallots diced|
|1/2 b of fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into 12 thin slices|
|Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste (be careful with the salt, oysters have a high salt content)|
The fall and winter months are the best time to eat oysters, especially the east coast varieties. Oysters can be eaten year around but they spawn during the summer months and become soft and fatty. This is a great way to use oysters. The combination of the oysters with the bacon, artichokes and cheese is a real winner.
- Mince the bacon, celery and artichokes and shallots.
- In a small pan fry the bacon until it begins to get a little crispy.
- Leave the bacon in the pan and pour off all but 2 tbs of the fat.
- Add the celery and artichokes and shallots and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, then cool.
- Scrub the oysters shells well and open the oysters by inserting an oyster knife into the hinge twisting the knife and cutting through the muscle. Pry the she shells apart and discard the flatter of the two shells.
- Spoon a little of the bacon , shallot, celery and artichoke mixture evenly over each oyster.
- Top each oyster with 1 slice of the mozzarella cheese and cook oysters under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 7 minutes or until the cheese completely melts.