Yield
4 servings (serving size: 3 oysters)
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 7 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 1 cup. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to a plate; cool.

Step 3

Position oven rack to the top one-third of the oven. Increase oven temperature to 425°.

Step 4

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and salt; cover and cook 5 minutes or until fennel is tender. Uncover and cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in liqueur; cook 1 minute or until liqueur evaporates. Transfer fennel mixture to a bowl; add breadcrumbs, cheese, fennel fronds, rind, juice, and red pepper. Toss to combine.

Step 5

Arrange oysters in a single layer on a large baking pan. Top each oyster with about 1 tablespoon fennel mixture. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until the edges of the oysters begin to curl and the stuffing is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Step 6

Wine note: Contrast the rich texture of these oysters with a cold, crisp chablis. A classic partner for oysters, chablis brings out the mineral quality of these prized shellfish while its palate-cleansing acidity nicely slices the butter- and cheese-laced stuffing. William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux 2007 ($24) is a good entry-level chablis, with its orchard fruit and floral aromas, lively citrus flavor, and steely finish. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

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