4 disposable aluminum muffin tins
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
3/4 cup vegetable seasoning mix
4 dozen fresh-shucked Louisiana oysters + oyster liquor
1 small bottle Worcestershire Sauce
1 bottle Frank Davis Garlic Hot Sauce
2 fresh lemons, halved
4 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
2 cups shredded Romano cheese
The Butter Basting Sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/3 cup vegetable seasoning mix
4 Tbsp. minced parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup cocktail sherry
1 lb. sweet cream salted butter
1 lb. #4 spaghetti, cooked al dente
8 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms
2 oz. fresh basil, chiffonade
1/2 bunch thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbsp. minced parsley
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
First thing you do is place 4 disposable aluminum muffin tins on the countertop.
Then pour into each well about a teaspoonful of olive oil, a quarter teaspoon of minced garlic, and a half teaspoon of seasoning vegetable mix (that's that chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion mix you find in the two-cup plastic containers in the produce section of your favorite supermarket).
Now slide the tins into a preheated 450-degree oven on the center rack and open-roast the veggies for about 12 minutes (or until they soften, clear, and just begin to caramelize).
While this is going on, take a 2-1/2 quart saucepan and make your butter basting sauce. Very simply, you add a half cup of olive oil to the saucepan, along with the minced garlic, vegetable seasoning mix, parsley, green onions, salt, black pepper, and sherry wine.
Then you bring the mixture to a boil, and while stirring continuously you reduce the sherry until it almost entirely evaporates.
At that stage, you take the saucepan off the fire, drop in the pound of butter, and gently melt it down until it turns creamy (be sure you stir all the ingredients into suspension in the softened butter).
When the veggies have 'toasted over,' carefully remove the muffin tins from the oven (watch out-they're hot!) and place them once again on the countertop.
Then into each well drop two large (or three small) oysters-preferably unwashed oysters so that you can take advantage of the highly flavored oyster liquor.
Now when each well is filled, begin the seasoning process-here's how you do it:
- With your finger over the bottle top, quickly drizzle over the oysters a scant amount of Worcestershire sauce; then,
- Shake on a few drops of garlic cayenne hot sauce; then,
- Slice a fresh lemon in half and squeeze a few drops of juice into each well; then,
- Lightly sprinkle a little seafood seasoning over each oyster cluster; then,
- Completely cap off each well with a couple of hearty pinches of shredded Romano cheese; then,
- Take a tablespoon-size ladle full of the melted butter basting sauce you made and pour it evenly over the Romano cheese
- At this point slide the muffin tins back into the oven and 'open roast' them for about 15-20 minutes or until the oyster liquors are bubbly and the cheese fuses together and takes on a rich, deep, golden color.
Now, while the oysters are roasting, spoon a couple tablespoons of the butter basting sauce into an anodized or non-stick 12-inch skillet and bring the butter up to a vibrant sizzle.
- Quickly sear the mushrooms over high heat until they toast around the edges;
- Drop in the fresh basil, thinly sliced green onions, and minced parsley and mix everything together;
- Add about half of the spaghetti (or maybe a little more) to the skillet and toss everything around until fully incorporated;
- Take the oysters right from the oven and spoon them-along with the cheesy muffin tin drippings-over the pasta; and,
- Completely toss everything in the skillet until the mix is uniformly combined, taking care that the oysters are dispersed evenly throughout the pasta.
And that's all there is to it! Except for liberally sprinkling the pasta and the roasted oysters with a hearty scattering of grated Parmesan cheese and garnishing the pan with a fistful of freshly minced parsley.
By the way, I suggest you serve this dish piping hot right off the fire, alongside a couple of golden brown buttered pistolettes and a glass of your favorite chilled white wine.
I like to combine both the Romano and the Parmesan together. It gives the dish a more rounded even taste.
To get the mushrooms to come out toasty and rich, be sure you fry them down in the skillet only a handful at a time. Because they are mostly water, cooking all of them at once renders out the water and produces a dirty-looking grayish liquid that is anything but appetizing (and the mushrooms never brown).
You can find my garlic cayenne hot sauce at a number of independent grocers, including Dorignac's, the French Market, and many Sav-A-Centers, or you can order direct by calling 800-742-4231 or going online at www.frankdavis.com.
Any leftover basting butter you have can be placed on a sheet of plastic wrap, rolled into a tube, and frozen for later use for sauteing, frying, flavoring, etc.