- Ten 1/2-inch-thick slices of white bread or brioche, crust removed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 pints shucked oysters (about 4 dozen), liquor drained and reserved
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 ounces thickly sliced smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts, finely chopped
- 2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Tabasco sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the bread with 3 tablespoons of the butter and arrange the slices, buttered side up, on a large baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Cut the toasts in half diagonally.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved oyster liquor and the wine and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Add the oysters and simmer over low heat until their edges start to curl, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the oysters to a plate; reserve the oyster-poaching liquid.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the leeks, celery and onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the reserved oyster-poaching liquid, whisking constantly, until smooth. Simmer over low heat, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream and thyme and simmer for 3 minutes longer, until thickened and creamy. Stir in the lemon juice, then season with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Fold in the oysters and cook just until warmed through, about 1 minute.
- Arrange 2 toast halves on each of 10 plates. Spoon the creamed oysters on top, sprinkle with the bacon and serve at once.
The fruit flavors of a Champagne will point up the saltiness of the oysters and the bacon; the acidity will cut the creamy sauce.
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