Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Sep 15, 2008 11:30 AM

Seafood and Cheese Combos

Am I the only one that finds it a sin to combine the two? I see it more and more as I eat at restaurants but I just can not stomach it and have tried.

While a few arent so bad, gorgonzola sprinkled on a salad with broiled shrimp or pasta and mussels/clams sprinkled with parmesan being a couple examples.

However, I have seen a ton lately. I know Mexican can do it often but I just dont get it: seafood tacos covered in all kinds of cheeses and sour cream, Another being scallops wrapped in some type of meet and cheese product that I have seen in a few spots. Even something as simple as a tuna steak sandwich with layers of cheese.

Is it just me? Seafood and dairy for the most part do not mix.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Fried shrimp tacos with finely shredded mixed cheese is one of my favorite foods.

    And don't forget about tuna melts!

    But I agree, usually I want to really taste the seafood when I'm eating it, and cheese just tends to overpower.

    1. The first thing that I thought of was Coquille St. Jacques. Many versions have cheese on them.

      But with your last statement about seafood and dairy, I have to disagree. Most seafood is lovely in a cream sauce.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Sooeygun

        mais non! coquilles st. jacques -- the classic -- has no cheese, pleeeeze! ( a nice recipe, and an appetizing blog, too).

        and seafood and cream sauce, decadent and delish! esp. spiked with sherry!!!
        pike quenelles (YAY!):
        with sauce nantua: (double-YAY!):

        shrimp in garlic cream sauce:


        1. re: alkapal

          According to Larousse, coquille st. Jacques is actually just the term for scallops. All the recipes made with them are coquille st. jacques a la something or with other words added to the name (e.g. coquille st. jacques mornay..which is cheese sauce). That's why I said 'many versions have cheese'.

          1. re: Sooeygun

            aaah. what's the one with the mashed potatoes piped around the edge of the gratin dish? do all of them have that? now that i've googled it, i see many recipes with the taters have gruyere and some have parm, too.

            the version i had in england was without cheese, similar to this: this site calls it "parisienne"


            1. re: alkapal

              Unfortunately, I'm at work and my Larousse is at home. I will have to look it up tonight. Until I looked up Coquille St. Jacques in the Larousse, I had pictured it as exactly the one you linked to with the potatoes and the scallop shell dish. I'll check what the 'classical' name is, if there is one.

              1. re: Sooeygun

                thanks. i have larousse,.....somewhere in the living room! ;-)

                in any event, i'm happy with scallops just about any old way!

        2. I grewup on the East coast, and I agree with you 100%. I dig a good clam chowder, but that's abougt where it ends. A light cream sauce will work with pasta and shellfish as well, but cheese? Wrong, wrong , wrong. Fish sandwich with cheese? EWWWWW.
          Tuna melt? EWWWWW. Yes, I know everyone has their own opinion, and whoever wants a cheesy fish combo is certainly entitled to it. To me however, it's really wrong.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gordeaux

            Really? I've added lump crabmeat to my mac and eight cheese casserole and enjoyed it immensely. So did everyone else.

            1. re: gordeaux

              I also grew up on the East Coast, and didn't know that mixing seafood and cheese was not common. I do like a good tuna melt and can crave a shrimp parm. That reminds me it's almost the season for a nice hearty tuna casserole with extra cheddar.

              1. re: MrsT

                shirmp parm is one of my favorite guilty pleasures- ohhhh- even better is shrimp parm fra diavlo- if lovin' it is wrong I don't wanna be right!

                1. re: chef4hire

                  Ooh- that sounds great! Let them all have their irrational hangups, and pass some of that shrimp parm fra diavolo to me...

              2. re: gordeaux

                I'm with you, can't stand the thought of a tuna melt, YUCK. And I agree with pretty much most of what you said Gordeaux, good on ya!

              3. Sin??? Wrong??? Very different responses than "I don't care for it". I've had combinations with cheese and dairy that I enjoy very much. While I suppose I've combinations that did not work.

                I would be curious to know if there are real guidelines and the logic behind them.

                1. Italian cuisine tends to not mix fish and cheese.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: rubinow

                    Yes - and there have been a number of threads on this topic - some quite, shall we say, heated! However, I have a Sardinian cookbook that I love, and there are comments in there about using cheese and fish together in Sardinian cuisine. I'll try to find the details in the a.m. One of my favorite recipes in the book combines bottarga and pecorino.


                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Perused the book a bit - another dish calling for cheese with seafood is Calamari stuffed with ricotta and bottarga, and pecorino sardo is another ingredient. The recipe for Spaghetti with pecorino and bottarga is apparently "a traditional recipe from the town of Carloforte on the island of San Pietro, home to some of Sardinia's finest tuna fisherman". There are also recipes for "Pasta with ricotta and bottarga", "Nettle Ravioli with branzino and ricotta", "Sole with Pecorino Sardo" (note says this is a classic way to combine land and sea in Sardinia, although "to some this is not a 'natural' or familiar combination".)

                    2. re: rubinow

                      I know Marcella Hazan quite well and have collaborated with her in the past. She says no seafood with cheese, no olive oil for dipping on the table (butter only), and no lemon twist with espresso. But that doesn't make any of these things wrong. Personally I do adhere to the no cheese (save for mascarpone which isn't cheese) with seafood rule. I have had parmesan crusted soft shells once though, and enjoyed them quite a bit.

                      1. re: almansa

                        It sounds like then that this use of cheese with seafood in Sardinia must be an anomaly in Italian cooking. I'd never combined cheese and seafood when cooking Italian food (pretty much from Hazan's book), but have enjoyed recipes I've made from that Sardinian one.