Chef Frank Brigtsen is famous for his seafood platter, where not a single item is of the typical fried sort. Baked Oysters Fortuna appears seasonally on the appetizer menu and as part of his special platter. An avid fisherman, Frank named the dish for one of his favorite fishing spots, Lake Fortuna, which he describes as “a rich, fertile body of water that yields fish, shrimp, oysters, and crabs.”
Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet (see Note) over medium-high heat. Add anchovies and cook, stirring constantly, for a few seconds. Add onion, celery, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables caramelize. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add garlic, salt, basil, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink. Add claw and backfin crabmeat and cook, stirring gently, until crabmeat is just heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups olive oil, bread crumbs, and cheese. Mix until well blended. Add seafood-vegetable mixture to bread crumb mixture. Fold together until well blended. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Top each oyster with about three tablespoons Fortuna topping. Place oysters on a baking sheet. Bake at 500 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: Frank uses two large skillets when preparing this recipe. Place half of the ingredients in each skillet.
Serves 12 as an entrée – 24 as an appetizer
Recipe Compliments of Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.