Food photographer and chef, Shea Evans, embodies the idea of when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or today, you make skillet baked oysters! Shea crafted this recipe and set of images, without even blinking, to send off to a few creative directors as a thank you note. You will notice two types of images, the final dish, and an abstract re-imagining of the ingredients of the dish, which is part of a personal project Shea has been working on titled Deconstructed Flavor.
I've decided it's all too mouth-watering to not share with the world. So, without further adieu (Shea's words), I present an original recipe, styling, and photography from the man himself.
Skillet Baked Oysters with Shiitake Mushrooms, Bacon and Basil served with Torn Crostini
1 dozen fresh oysters, shucked and cut but left in shell 6 strips of bacon 1 cup small diced red onion 1 1/3 cup small diced shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine 1/2 baguette torn into crostini sized chunks 1/3 cup olive oil kosher salt fresh ground pepper 6 large basil leaves thinly sliced Rock Salt
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon or tongs. Set aside on paper towels to drain and once cool enough to handle, tear into bits.
With the bacon grease still in the skillet, increase heat on the skillet to medium high and add the onion, cooking until golden brown and caramelized. Add the shittakes and cook for a few minutes until soft. Pour in the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Cook until all the wine is absorbed. Remove skillet from heat, season mixture with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, while the oven is heating up, pour the olive oil into a small bowl, adding a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Dredge the torn baguette pieces in the olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the oven while it's heating up to 500 degress, about 510 minutes, until golden brown and crusty. Remove from oven and keep warm.
Pour about a 1/4inch layer of rock salt into the bottom of an iron skillet, covering the bottom completely. Arrange oysters in the rock salt, making sure the juices stay in the shells with the oyster. Add a pinch of the mushroom mixture to each oyster. There should be plenty left over.
Place skillet with oysters in the oven and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Pour another layer of rock salt onto a serving plate. Move oysters from skillet onto serving plate and garnish with the sliced basil and bacon bits. Add any left over bacon bits and basil to the leftover mushroom mixture and served alongside the crostini.