With this Baked Oysters with Collards and Cajun Hollandaise, the salty Gulf oyster hides underneath cloaked in a Rockefeller type covering of bacon-infused greens and a spicy hollandaise for a perfect one-bite dish that will send you back for more. Another dozen, please.
If you’ve never been to the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, you’re missing out on a time capsule of Southern hospitality. This Marriott property has been upgraded to the pristine beauty of its former glory. It is well worth a visit.
With the grandeur and charm befitting its name, the Grand Hotel delivers a casual vibe overlooking Mobile Bay with a white-glove sophistication that sets it apart. Pools with private cabanas, walking paths, biking, an 18-hole golf course, a bar with outdoor fire pits are just some of the grand amenities. And for dining, you have your choice of several restaurant settings.
Their restaurant Southern Roots offers a chef-driven, farm-to-table menu expertly turned out by Chef Cory Garrison. I like the balance between soulful and sophisticated, and no better dish represents that combination like their Oysters Grandfeller, a take on the similarly named dish made famous by Antoine’s in New Orleans. But where the Rockefeller dish takes a highbrow approach, the Grand’s version is more in touch with the roots of Southern cooking.
The key to this dish is sourcing the briniest, freshest, Gulf oysters available. In my kitchen, I’ve recreated a version of this oyster dish with a combination of sautéed collard greens with a smoky kiss of applewood-infused bacon baked in a velvety slather of my spicy Cajun hollandaise. I love how the hot oven browns the tops with a sizzle and sear but retains the freshness of the oysters hiding underneath.
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Acadiana Table Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 strips applewood smoked bacon, diced
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 2 cups collard green leaves, stems removed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 dozen Gulf oysters with their shells
- Rock salt, for serving, optional
- In a blender container, add the egg yolks and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture quickly lightens in color and is combined.
- Turn the blender to low, remove the cover, and slowly drizzle in the melted butter. Once the butter is combined, and the sauce thickened, add the Cajun seasoning and a pinch of cayenne to taste. Pour the sauce into a bowl and gently stir to combine. Keep warm for serving.
- In a skillet with a heavy lid over medium-high heat, add the bacon and sauté until crispy. Remove the bacon and reserve for later use.
- To the bacon grease add the onions. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes, and then add the collard leaves. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover. Let the collards steam and then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and the greens are tender. Remove, drain, and let cool. Chop the greens with a sharp knife or pulse in a food processor until finely diced. Add the bacon bits back to the greens mixture.
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
- Place the oysters with their shells onto a baking tray or oven-proof dish lined with rock salt.
- Layer each oyster with a spoonful of the greens mixture and top with a tablespoon of hollandaise.
- Place the tray in the oven and let cook just until the sauce begins to bubble and brown on top. Remove and serve immediately.
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