Sandy Ingber, executive chef at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City, decreed the Royal Miyagi oyster from K & B Seafood as December’s Oyster of the Month. The “Bishop of Bivalves” suggests the Royals from Vancouver Island for his renowned Oysters Rockefeller recipe, perfect for a holiday appetizer, and one of the signature dishes of the historic seafood restaurant “below sea level” at Grand Central Terminal. Scott Conant featured this dish on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate, calling it “old-school cooking at its best.” As he says, every component needs to be perfect.
This is one of the key components of our Oysters Rockefeller, but creamed spinach has been on our menu as a side since Mr. Jerome Brody reopened the restaurant. The only change is that we now make it with vin blanc sauceâand what a difference it makes in flavor!
Position an oven rack in the top position and heat the broiler. Remove the oysters from their shells.
Arrange the shells on a rimmed baking sheet and spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the creamed spinach into each shell. (Youâll have some spinach left over.) Set the oysters on top of the spinach. Broil until the oysters are just starting to ruffle, about 1 minute. Remove from the broiler and nap each oyster with about 1 tablespoon hollandaise sauce. Broil until the sauce browns, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
Place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Transfer the spinach to a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is warm. Stir in the vin blanc sauce, then season with nutmeg and salt and stir again. Keep the spinach warm until you serve it.
Put the egg yolks and wine in a large stainless steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water. Whisk vigorously until the yolks are light and tripled in volume. The consistency will be like a pudding, and the yolks will make a ribbon that sits on the surface for 3 seconds when you lift the whisk. Be careful not to scramble the eggs as you whisk; make sure to whisk along the sides of the bowl, and take the bowl off the heat periodically.
Set the bowl on the counterâon a damp kitchen towel to keep it steadyâand whisk in the butter in a very slow, steady stream. Donât add the butter too quickly, or the sauce will break. Once all the butter is added, whisk in the lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt.
Keep the sauce warm until youâre ready to serve it.