Once the hallmark of fancy restaurants and country clubs, this upscale New Orleans dish can now make an appearance at your next backyard barbecue. When grilled over a charcoal fire, the oysters pick up a nice light smoky flavor.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and undrained
1 tablespoon anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup cracker crumbs
2 dozen large oysters on the half shell
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Squeeze liquid from thawed spinach directly into onion mixture. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and add spinach, liqueur, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add cracker crumbs. Cool to room temperature.
Spoon spinach mixture over oysters, making sure to cover each oyster completely. Place oysters on grill grate over a medium fire (300 to 350 degrees F). Cook, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes or until oysters begin to curl around edges. Serve immediately.