The Lobster Trap

Oysters Rockefeller Recipe

by The Lobster Trap Executive Chef Mike McCarty

Raw Oysters (8)
Cooking Oil
Watercress (1 bunch)
Chopped Garlic (1 Tbsp)
Chopped Shallot (1 Tbsp)
Pernod Liquor (1 shot)
Bread Crumbs


Egg Yolks (6)
Warm Water (1/4 cup)
Lemon Juice (3 Tbsp)
Soft Butter (1/2 lb.)
Cayenne Pepper (dash)

Have all of your ingredients in place before bringing your oysters out of refrigeration. Wash the watercress under cold water and dry it with a clean towel, set aside. Heat a large saute pan with cooking oil at a medium temperature and add chopped garlic and chopped shallot. Sweat and add your watercress and sauté for approximately 30 seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and add your shot of Pernod. Once alcohol is cooked out (about five seconds) bring pan back to heat and cook for one minute. Remove pan from heat and lay pan ingredients out over a tray to cool for five minutes. Once cooled, transfer watercress to a cutting board and with a chefs knife carefully chop watercress mixture until you can spoon over an oyster.

Now for the Hollandaise:

Whisk the yolks, water, and lemon juice in the saucepan for a few moments, until thick and pale (this prepares them for what is to come). Set the pan over moderately low heat and continue to whisk at reasonable speed, reaching all over the bottom and insides of the pan where the eggs tend to overcook. To moderate the heat, frequently move the pan off the burner for a few seconds, and then back on. (If, by chance, the eggs seem to be cooking too fast, set the pan in a bowl of cold water to cool the bottom, then continue). As they cook, the eggs will become frothy and increase in volume, and then thicken. When you can see the pan bottom through the streaks of the whisk and the eggs are thick and smooth, remove from the heat. By spoonfuls, add the soft butter, whisking constantly to incorporate each addition. As the emulsion forms, you may add the butter in slightly larger amounts, always whisking until fully absorbed. Continue incorporating butter until the sauce has thickened to the consistency you want. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper, whisking in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding droplets of lemon juice if needed.

Now that you have your two biggest contributing ingredients in place and ready to use, you can prepare your Oysters Rockefeller. Shuck you oyster of choice, spoon a dollop of the watercress mixture over the raw oyster, then add the Hollandaise and bread crumbs and place under the broiler. Cook just until the Hollandaise and bread crumbs begin to brown. Serve immediately.