Monday, January 18, 2010

Oyster Tartlets

We usually have a big Academy Awards party every year. Not sure we will this year, but if so, here's a glamorous little nibble I just might serve. They were tested (and gobbled up) by me and the other half with our New Year's Eve bubbly.

Oyster Tartlets
Makes 24 appetizers.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
24 prebaked mini phyllo shells
24 small shucked oysters (or larger oysters cut into 24 small pieces)

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderately high heat. Stir in the flour, then whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring to a simmer, whisking. Stir in the onion and bay leaf and simmer over low heat, whisking, until no floury taste remains, 10 minutes. Pass through a coarse strainer set over a small bowl; discard the bay leaf. Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine the panko and cheese and stir in the olive oil. Arrange the phyllo shells on a rimmed baking sheet. Place an oyster in each shell. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the horseradish sauce into each shell, and sprinkle the panko mixture on top. Bake in the upper third of the oven for about 10 minutes, until hot throughout and crisp on top. Serve right away. They are best when they are piping hot.

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