Jackie Onassis helped redo Grand Central Station; the Dean can’t help think she fell in love with the place because when she wanted a treat, she slipped away with Ari for this oyster pan roast at the Oyster Bar in the basement.
Cut two ½ inch thick slices from a loaf of crusty sourdough bread. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet. Once melted, add bread slices to skillet. Fry bread, flipping once, until golden and crusty on both sides, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
In a double boiler or metal bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in 2 tablespoons chili sauce, such as Heinz (or substitute 2 tablespoons ketchup plus 4 dashes Tabasco), 2 tablespoons white wine, 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce and a generous pinch of celery salt.
Stir in 12-shucked oysters along with ½ cup of their liquor. (If you don’t have enough oyster liquor, substitute clam juice.) Cook, barely simmering, until oysters plump and begin to ruffle at their edges, about 4 minutes.
Pour in ½ cup heavy cream and stir. Simmer gently until warmed through, about 3 minutes, but take care not to let mixture boil. Sprinkle with paprika and stir.
To serve two:
Place slice of fried bread in the bottom of a wide shallow bowl. Spoon 6 oysters onto bread and pour half of the creamy broth over the top. Sprinkle with additional paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with remaining bowl.
To serve a few more:
Cut fried bread into small pieces and place in bottom of silver cups. Spoon two oysters onto bread and the creamy broth over the top. Sprinkle with a dot of paprika, salt and pepper.