Help! I'm hosting Easter dinner for a few friends, none of whom eat of the animals that walk upon or fly above the land. Which is to say, no roast lamb for me! :( I feel like I have a limited range of festive fish dishes, and as these are good friends, they have had them all. Any ideas for a festive fish dish that doesn't involve salmon roasted on a bed of asparagus? Or planed salmon? Or maybe even salmon at all?
P.S. If it's helpful, I'm thinking of poached artichokes to start, and leek potato gratin for a side. Maybe.
What about paella? It's a festive dish that can easily be pescatarian and incorporate plenty of spring vegetables. If you want to go lighter, a souffle is a retro, but impressive, vegetarian starter.
Lobsters and other shellfish are also inherently celebratory. If you decide you want to go a little less expensive, you could try roasted monkfish for a similar flavor.
I apologize for this being salmon, but it sure is good and springy. When cooking for non-meat-eaters, I use veggie broth for chicken. It also works well for make-ahead (just keep the salmon and sauce apart until assembling). I've added chopped asparagus or peas before, as well:
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (24 fl oz)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups flaked broiled salmon
10 oz capellini (angel-hair pasta; about two thirds of a 1-lb box)
Cook onion in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened (but not browned), about 6 minutes. Add broth, cream, vodka, and salt and boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in dill, lemon zest and juice, and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce, then add salmon to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat until fish is just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
While fish is heating, cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Return pasta to pot, then toss with reserved sauce and cooking water. Serve pasta immediately with fish and sauce spooned over the top.
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Thanks, all! In the end, I decided to be guided by what was available from our local fish purveyor (which is to say, he not only has a local shop, he actually catches the fish himself too!). So I have this whole flounder that I have to sort out. Thanks for your ideas, tho! I'm going to have to try paella one of these days.