Oysters with bacon and spinach

>Serves 2

This is a simpler version of the classic dish Oysters Rockefeller – the American dish in which oysters on the half shell are combined with other ingredients (sometimes breadcrumbs) and baked. This combination works a treat and I could eat this any day of the week.

6 oysters, shucked and shells and juices reserved
A good knob of butter
2 rashers of rindless, smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
150g spinach, picked, washed and cooked in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes
120-150ml double cream
1tbsp grated Parmesan

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, gently cook the bacon in the butter for 2-3 minutes without colouring.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and put it to one side. In the same pan cook the shallots for a couple of minutes, making sure that you do not colour them, and then add the well-drained spinach, oyster juices and cream.

Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2 minutes with a lid on, giving the occasional stir.

Coarsely blend in a liquidiser then transfer to a clean pan. Bring back to the boil and drop the oysters into the sauce for 1 minute.

Remove them with a slotted spoon, draining any sauce back into the pan, and put the oysters back into the shell and keep them warm in a low oven.

Add the parmesan and bacon to the sauce and bring back to the boil. The sauce should be of a coating consistency, if not, then simmer it for a little longer until it has thickened.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the oysters in their shells.

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