In France, sauce bordelaise is based on a rich mixture of wine and brown stock. But Creole bordelaise, which Mandich uses in this signature oyster dish, is made with oil, scallions, and garlic.
Yield: serves 6-8
For the Sauce
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Oysters
- 2 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- Vegetable oil
- 24 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved
- ½ bunch parsley, trimmed and chopped
- For the sauce: Combine the vegetable oil, olive oil, garlic, scallions, and 1 tbsp. water in a medium-size heavy-bottomed sauce-pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer gently, lowering heat if necessary, until scallions and garlic are soft and translucent but not colored, 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the sherry and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm while preparing the oysters.
- For the oysters: Combine the flour and paprika in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Select the rounder of the two shells from each oyster, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. Pour vegetable oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of 1'' and heat until hot (about 350°) over medium-high heat. Pat oysters dry with paper towels. Dredge oysters in seasoned flour, then fry, working in batches if necessary, until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer oysters with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Place 1 oyster on each of the prepared shells, spoon some of the warm bordelaise sauce over each oyster, and serve garnished with a little chopped parsley, and with lemon wedges, if you like.