Recipe by Dan Kohler, 2/5/2020
Yield: 36 oysters
1. Shuck the oysters and drain, saving the oyster liquor for the sauce and the top shells.
2. In a non-corrosive saucepan, add the oyster liquor, 8 ounces of the heavy cream, the celery seed, bay leaves, parsley stems, lemon zest, and juice. Also add 1 ½ tablespoons each of the diced celery, onion, and fennel to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and let reduce by 1/8. Strain through a fine sieve and return the cream mixture to the saucepan. Add the black pepper and check for saltiness. If it is too salty, add a little more cream. Keep warm.
3. Drain the celery root then add it to the strained cream. Bring to a simmer. Cook until tender. Pour cream mixture into food processor, with butter and remaining cream. Puree.
4. Stir remaining 1 ½ tablespoons diced celery, onion, and fennel into cream sauce.
5. In a bowl, toss together crisp bacon, grated pecorino, and toasted breadcrumbs.
6. Preheat the broiler.
7. Fill sheet tray with rock salt. Place halved oysters on rock salt.
8. Add 1-2 tablespoons cream sauce to each oyster.
9. Top each shell with the bacon/breadcrumb/pecorino mixture.
10. Broil shells on high for about 5 minutes, until the oysters are cooked in the cream mixture. Remove pan from oven and top with panko mixture, then put back in the oven and broil for 1 more minute, until breadcrumbs and cheese are toasted.
11. Remove from oven and garnish each shell with lemon zest.