An ode to Oysters Rockefeller, the Pernod can be subbed in this dressing for 1 teaspoon of ground fennel seed, lending that touch of anise flavor without the alcohol.
Yields: 10 servings
- 2 (8-ounce) containers shucked oysters, drained and liquor reserved
- 8 cups (1-inch) cubed cornbread
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1¼ cups chopped fennel
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup minced garlic
- ½ cup squeezed thawed frozen chopped spinach
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ tablespoons Pernod (optional)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 2.5- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Quarter any large oysters; set aside.
- Place cornbread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and toasted, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and let drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in pot. Add fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, 5 to 9 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in spinach, parsley, Pernod (if using), salt, Worcestershire, and red pepper.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, and ½ cup reserved oyster liquor. (If oyster liquor doesn’t equal ½ cup, add more cream). Add ½ cup Parmesan, oysters, cornbread, bacon, and fennel mixture. Gently stir until combined and liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Top with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan; bake, uncovered, until bread is lightly browned, cheese is melted, and mixture is firm to the touch, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.