This clever take on a classic appetizer (traditionally made with oysters and creamed spinach on the half shell) reconstructs all the elements of the original in a new way. The oysters are wrapped in crispy potatoes and served over a bed of bacon-y sautéed spinach with a dollop of luscious Parmesan-leek emulsion that gets is creamy consistency not from cream, but from, you guessed it, potatoes.
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
4 leeks, medium diced
1 yellow onion, medium diced
1 russet potato, peeled, large diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 russet potatoes
Peanut oil as needed
6 ounces naturally smoked bacon, large diced
1 pound baby spinach
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups Parmesan-leek emulsion
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the leeks and onions. Cover and sweat leeks and onions until translucent.
Add the russet potato and deglaze the pan with white wine.
Reduce the wine until almost gone and add the heavy cream.
Cook the potato in the liquid mixture and use it as a natural thickener for the emulsion.
When the diced potatoes are tender, add the parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Puree in a blender and hold warm for service.
Cut two potatoes in half lengthwise right down the middle. Working from the middle, with skin still on, thinly slice the potato to about the thickness of a potato chip. Make 24 chips and hold in cold water.
Blanch potatoes in salted boiling water for one minute or just until you can roll the potato without it snapping. Shock in an ice bath, strain, and pat dry.
Shuck oysters making sure there is no shell debris left over. Roll the oyster in the potato and secure with a toothpick. Fry in peanut oil at 350 degrees for two minutes or until the potato is golden and crispy.
Cube bacon and render it in a large saute pan over medium heat. Pour off excess bacon fat and add the spinach leaves. Wilt the spinach and finish with sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place 1/3 cup of the parmesan-leek emulsion on each of the 6 plates. Mound the sautéed spinach on top of the emulsion, distributing evenly between each plate. Place 2 potato-wrapped oysters side by side over the top of the spinach. Place 2 more potato-wrapped oysters on top the opposite direction.
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