Seasoned bread crumbs are always a great topping for baked seafood. Chef Greg Sonnier gives a lagniappe to his topping for baked oysters by adding artichokes and pancetta, a spicy, unsmoked Italian bacon.
- Lemon - 1, halved
- Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Artichokes - 2 large
- Pancetta - 4 oz, finely diced
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Green Onions - 1/4 cup chopped (white part only) or shallots
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Parsley - 2 tablespoons, fresh minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Lemon Juice - Juice of 1 lemon
- Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, grated
- Oysters - 16 to 20 large plump, shucked, liquor reserved
- Hollandaise sauce - 1/2 cup
Place the halved lemons and two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot of boiling water. Add the artichokes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Pull off the leaves and scrape off the pulp at their bases. Dig out the choke with a spoon and dice the remaining heart. Set aside with the scraped pulp.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a medium saute pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the pancetta until browned. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Saute the green onions or shallots, garlic, and parsley until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the diced artichokes and lemon juice. If the dressing looks too dry, add a little oyster liquor to moisten. Saute for about 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat, add1/4 cup of the bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of the cheese, and toss lightly.
Place 4 or 5 oysters into each of 4 individual casseroles. Top with the artichoke dressing. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with hollandaise sauce over the dressing.