Oyster and Absinthe Dome

  • Serves

    serves 4

This creamy, elegant dish (from New Orleans's Commander's Palace) can be made ahead of time and brought out as a first dinner course. The secret to its refined richness is a splash of anise spirit, such as pastis or even the intensely aromatic absinthe.


  • 1 (9" x 11") sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 6 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 34 cup absinthe or pastis
  • 20 medium oysters, such as bluepoints, shucked (1/3 cup of the liquor reserved)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (9-oz.) package frozen artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 14 cup finely chopped tarragon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1

Heat oven to 400°. Using a 3" cookie cutter, cut 4 circles from the puff pastry. Transfer puff pastry circles to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush each circle with egg mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes; set puff pastry tops aside.

Step 2

Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add absinthe or pastis. Return saucepan to the heat and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the oyster liquor and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Add oysters, artichokes, and tarragon to the reduced cream mixture and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oysters' edges begin to curl, about 2 minutes. Divide the oyster stew between four 6-oz. ramekins or bowls and top each with a puff pastry circle.

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