- 5 cups French baguette, torn in ½-inch cubes
- ¼ cup butter (plus ½ cup for the dish and topping)
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 1 cup celery (peeled and thinly sliced stalks plus small, light-colored leaves, chopped)
- 1 Tbs. jalapeño pepper, minced (approximately 1 small)
- 2 dozen smoked oysters, chopped (can substitute two tins of smoked oysters)
- 1 cup shrimp stock (can be made ahead by boiling shrimp shells with aromatics)
- ¼ cup Melon de Bourgogne (a Muscadet white French wine from the Loire Valley)
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbs. thyme leaves, picked from the stems
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 dozen shucked fresh oysters, chopped, with liquor (separated)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided
About this recipe
EXECUTIVE CHEF JEFFREY JEW, BELLA BRAVA AND STILLWATERS TAVERN
Chef Jeffrey has been making this recipe during Thanksgiving with his dad since childhood, but it’s a dish that deserves a place on the table more than once a year, especially as the recipe has evolved to include ingredients readily available at farmer’s markets and, sometimes, ingredients influenced by guests’ favorite flavors.
“From time to time, I’ve gone exotic and stepped away from tradition to use ingredients
from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” Chef Jeffrey explains.
“But, I keep it the same when I don’t have as many adventurous eaters … Over the past 10 years I have been lucky enough to have 30 friends and family join together, break bread and toast to our annual celebration with this meaningful dish.”
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Toast baguette cubes in one layer on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, until dry and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large rondeau (a wide and shallow pot), melt the butter over medium heat. Add shallots, celery and jalapeño, sautéing
for 10 minutes while stirring frequently.
Add smoked oysters and sauté for another five minutes. Add stock, wine, parsley, thyme and oyster liquor, then bring to a simmer for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While simmering, add the toasted baguette cubes, fresh oysters and ½ cup of parmesan to a large bowl, mixing well. Add the simmered liquid to the bread mixture, mix well again and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes to create the stuffing mixture.
Raise oven to 400 degrees. Butter a baking dish and add stuffing mixture. Press down and cover with foil, then bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese and dollops of butter. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until golden in color. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before serving