Oysters Evangeline

This dish combines the subtle taste of fresh sage and oysters in a cream sauce.

24 medium oysters in shells
1/4 cup sausage drippings (preferably) or bacon drippings
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (including green tops)
6 Tbsp.s all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red (cayenne) pepper
2 Tbsp.s minced parsley, preferably flat-leaf
1 heaping Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1/2 pint (1 cup) dairy sour cream
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
Rock salt
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 oz.)

Shuck oysters; drain well, reserving 1/2 cup liquor. Scrub and reserve 24 half shells. Melt sausage or bacon drippings in a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat; add green onions and cook just until slightly transparent (3 to 4 minutes). Add flour all at once and blend, then cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes. Slowly stir in whipping cream, blending to make a smooth paste. Add salt, black pepper, red pepper, parsley, sage and reserved oyster liquor, stirring to blend. Cook 5 minutes longer, whisking constantly. Stir in sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and wine; cook just until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings. Preheat oven to 400F . Line a 15” x 10” baking sheet with rock salt. Place oyster shells on rock salt, nesting each into salt to prevent tipping. Pat oysters very dry on paper towels and place 1 in each shell. Spoon some of sauce over top of each oyster. Combine bread crumbs and cheese; sprinkle over tops of oysters. Bake in preheated oven until a light golden crust forms on tops of oysters (10 to 15 minutes). Serve hot.

Makes 24 servings.

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