INKLINGS: Possum Pasta and Oysters Roosevelt

  • Friday, January 3, 2014

By Barbara Lynch Hill

“What’s for supper?” Jim asked our son-in-law Mike, volunteer chef for the night after Christmas.


“Possum!” Jim exclaimed, mishearing him. The resultant hilarity among my family’s male contingent (not unheard of) gained the entrée its new name. In addition, the advertised on-the-half-shell appetizers were redubbed a la “Roosevelt.” Never mind the wags. These oysters? Outstanding! And the “possum?” Awesome!!

Here, with Mike’s own inimitable directions are:

Oysters Rockefeller

2 dozen oysters

4 slices bacon

Yellow onion

Minced garlic

White wine

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

Chopped spinach

Grated Parmesan cheese

Black pepper

Bread crumbs

Taste a glass of the white wine to ensure it’s of the utmost quality. Chop bacon into small pieces and render them down on medium high in a medium skillet. When bacon is almost crispy, put half a medium sized chopped onion in and cook until tender. Add about a tablespoon of minced garlic and let it cook for about a minute. Add the butter and flour and stir to mix. Add about a half cup of white wine to deglaze and stir. Add half cup chopped spinach and stir into mixture to blend. Add about 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat and stir. Add black pepper and bread crumbs. Mixture will become thick.

Prepare a cookie sheet with several layers of aluminum foil loosely so that you can set the oyster shells in there and keep them level. Shuck the 2 dozen oysters, ensuring that the oysters are detached from the shell. Put the oysters back into the deeper of the 2 halves and place on a cookie sheet, ensuring that the oysters are level. (Drain extra liquid before putting on cookie sheet.) Spoon the filling mixture on top to cover the oysters.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prior to tray in the oven, sprinkle Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over each oyster filling.

Bake 15 minutes or until golden.

Let oysters shells cool and serve when comfortable to handle.

Taste the white wine again to ensure it’s still OK.

Shrimp and Sausage Pesto Pasta

1 pound of shrimp

1 package of loose Italian sausage

1 cup fresh basil leaves

Pine nuts

Grated Parmesan

Olive oil

Angel hair pasta

White wine

Taste white wine again to make sure it’s still usable. Put the basil into a food processor. Add about 3 tablespoons of pine nuts and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in olive oil to get a very loose paste consistency.

In a large skillet, brown the Italian sausage, separating it into only bite-sized chunks. Make sure that the sausage is cooked through. Drain off any excess fat or grease, leaving the sausage in the skillet. Add in 1/2 cup of white wine to deglaze. Add in peeled, deveined shrimp and cook until shrimp are starting to turn pink. Stir in the pesto mixture, coating all of the pieces of sausage and shrimp.

Bring a medium sized pot, half filled with water, to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil to the water once it is boiling. Cook angel hair pasta for 4-6 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta once cooked. Serve the sausage, shrimp and pesto mixture over pasta. Sprinkle grated Parmesan and black pepper to taste.

Verify wine by tasting again.

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