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Nov 30, 2006 02:46 PM

Fancy Birthday dinner main course (fish or shellfish) needed

Would like to prepare a really nice dinner for 6-8. Preferably not salmon and not shrimp. I've done a whole halibut filet with lemon cream sauce in the past with much success, wrapped fish in banana leaves with vegetables and steamed. I need something different, classy and special. Oh, and outdoor cooking methods are out for this time of year. I just know there are some great ideas out there...please help!

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  1. The last (not newest) version of The Joy of cooking has a great recipie for steamed shrimp scallop cakes. They call them "Dumplings". It's in the appetizer section, but I doit as a main.

    basically you process equal portions of scallops and shrimp (raw), add a sprinkle of corn starch, a little ginger, a touch of sugar or honey. Mold them into little balls, flatten to disks and steam them in steamer on an oiled plate for a few minutes. Serve with a good ponzu or make your own asian dipping sauce.

    Me, I like to play with seasoning. You could add lemon zest..or maybe do them cajun style. or drizzle them with an orange glaze.

    They're good as dipping things, on a green salad, as an appetizer, or course in a multi course menu.

    1. Perhaps fresh tuna? This is one of my favorite recipes in the whole world but I only prepare it for company or special occasion because of the expense, between the cost of fresh tuna and fresh shiitakes, Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger Shiitake Cream sauce and oh-so-great with basmati rice:

      3 Replies
      1. re: Val

        I second this! This sauce is so good I usually make extra or double it. I usually serve with rice and asparagus. Its so delicious you want to lick your plate.

        1. re: Val

          Val, do you have an asian market near you? All items can easily be found on the cheap Tuna 6.99 Lb Fresh Shitake 2.49 for a big bag. If you don't, sorry I brought it up.


          1. re: stevuchan

            Hey, stevuchan...we do have a wonderful Asian market here but I've never seen fresh mushrooms there, only dried. They do have a variety of other fresh produce, though. Am sure I've never seen tuna there, either. You may be thinking: "Not such a great market, then!" Oh, but it is...we're in WASPY Naples, FL where not too much ethnic anything is to be found (though it's improving, I will say) This market is probably small compared to most others' standards but I try to go there once a week to buy something to help keep them in business and I always encourage others to go also.
            Thank you for the suggestion, though!

        2. one of my favourite dishes with seafood, is a seafood pasta in tomato sauce (but can also be done as a white wine sauce). normally, when we have pasta, we have it as a first course only, however, if we add all sorts of seafood, we'll eat it as a main. the best way to do this is to steam all the seafood separately, and then toss it in a great tomato sauce. Add LONG pasta (spaghetti or linguine)and serve! its classy and unique because you can add as many kinds or as few kinds of seafood as you want. if you are on a tight budget, only get mussels, for example. but if you would like to splurge a bit, use clams, shrimp, squid, crab legs, etc.
          Or as another idea, you can take your fav fish, put in im parchment with spices, lemon, and a few veggies, wrap it up and bake!

          1. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds delicious -- Pasta with lobster, tomatoes, and herbes de maquis from Epicurious

            basil, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, cream, tomato.. mmmmmmmm.........

            That's the plan for my mom's birthday, with a citrus/red onion salad, asparagus, something else I'm forgetting

            1. How about a risotto with scallops? I've made this recipe before and loved it.