Chef Folse: Oysters Dunbar

Chef Folse: Oysters Dunbar


COMMENT: This dish was named after the great restaurateur, Coreen Dunbar. Coreen had one of the few pot-luck restaurants. This simply meant that you walked in, pulled up a seat and whatever was in the pot was being served on the table that evening - no options, no choices. This dish became a mainstay at her restaurant and went on to become a sought after dish on other New Orleans restaurant menus.


  • 3 dozen oysters
  • 1 cup reserved oyster liquid
  • 12 oyster shells
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste
  • 3 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

METHOD: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash oyster shells once or twice with hot, soapy water and rinse under cold, running water until all soap is removed. Reserve shells in cold water for later use. Chop 2 dozen oysters along with artichoke hearts into bite-size pieces and set aside. In a cast iron Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add chopped oysters and artichoke hearts, blending well into the vegetable mixture. Sauté 5-7 additional minutes to incorporate flavors. Sprinkle in flour and blend well to create a white roux. Add heavy whipping cream and reserved oyster liquid, stirring constantly to blend into the roux mixture. The consistency should be that of a slightly-thickened white sauce. Add Worcestershire sauce, Creole seasoning, green onions, basil, thyme and nutmeg. Season lightly using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Continue to cook 7-10 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups of breadcrumbs until mixture is thickened and resembles a stuffing. Place 1 whole oyster in the center of each oyster shell and top with equal portions of Dunbar stuffing. Place stuffed oyster shells on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake oysters until stuffing is heated thoroughly and bubbly, approximately 30 minutes. It is imperative that the oysters in the shells are hot and fully cooked.

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