Huitres Gratinees a la Creme

A deliciously tempting first course for dinner party, Huitres Gratinees a la Creme (wee-tr’ gra-tee-nay ah lah krem) is surprisingly quick and easy to make – and the reward, with this elegant dish, is readily apparent. Canned oysters have been used in this recipe because they are usually more available than fresh. If you do have access to fresh oysters, however, this dish is of course even more superb. Remove them from their shells and cook them first. If you are using fresh oysters, serve Huitres Gratinees a la Creme in their shells, for an extra-special touch.

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, melted 16 canned oysters, drained 6 fl. oz. double cream 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the grill to high. Lightly grease a shallow, flameproof baking dish with the teaspoon of butter.

Place the oysters, in one layer, in the baking dish. Spoon a little of the cream over each one, then sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Spoon a little melted butter on top of each oyster and place the dish under the grill . Cook the oysters for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping bubbles slightly and has browned.

Remove the dish from the grill and serve, the oysters at once.

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