Onion, ham, cheese and Pernod: The Lynnhaven appetizer
SERVES 4 OYSTER LOVERS
20 fresh Lynnhaven oysters
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
1 cuo country ham, diced
1/2 cup Pernod
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated, plus extra for sprinkling
1 bunch fresh watercress
salt and pepper
Carefully shuck your oysters, making sure you separate each oyster's "foot" from the shell. Leave the oyster on the half shell and set aside. In a medium sauté pan, heat a little olive oil until barely smoking. Add the onion and ham and cook until the onion is soft. Add the Pernod carefully as it will flame up on you a little. Reduce the Pernod by half, then add the heavy cream. Reduce that by one third and add the cheese. Finally, add the watercress, salt and pepper to taste.
Put oysters on a baking sheet. With a spoon carefully scoop enough mixture onto each oyster shell, covering it completely. Add a sprinkling of cheese on each oyster and broil until mix is bubbly and the top has browned.
Sprinkle rock salt on your serving platter. This is both aesthetically pleasing and will keep your oysters in place. Arrange oysters over rock salt. Garnish with fresh lemon or its zest.