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Seafood on xmas eve...looking for ideas?

grandgourmand Dec 15, 2008 12:34 PM

I plan on cooking seafood for xmas. Just wanted to tap into the collective chowhound imagination and see if there are any suggestions for a tasty and imaginative seafood-based appetizer and main. Sounds pretty vague...I know. However, can't have any crustaceans because of my mother-in-law's allergy. Then again....

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    torty RE: grandgourmand Dec 15, 2008 02:51 PM

    Oh man- no crustaceans really kills the joy! Is she super allergic or can she even be around shellfish? For Christmas eve I like a pasta dish with a seafood/tomato/cream dressing. Usually use shellfish, but white fish of will do. Have you ever done a brandade with salt cod? That is fun and not really "fishy". That would be an appetizer. An opener like bagna coda (with the anchovy it fits the bill) is nice and gets some veggies in. A whole roasted fish in a salt crust is very festive. The only real work is in shopping for a great fish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: torty
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      fourunder RE: torty Dec 15, 2008 03:12 PM

      How about Mussels with Andouille/Chorizo steamed in beer or wine served with Crostini Croutons and Pan Seared Scallops with dipping sauces?

      For Mussels, a recent thread; http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572650

      For Scallops...pan sear after scoring one flat side with straight cuts, then quarter turn for another round of straight cuts to form a cross pattern. After a nice caramelized crust, arrange on a platter with fresh lemon wedges and....say three different sauces for dipping. An Asian inspired Ginger Soy Dressing, an Asian Peanut Dressing and last a Clementine/Orange Citrus Dressing....

      I have been fortunate enough to have friends who invite me to their Christmas Eve Night of the Seven Fishes Dinner. Before the actual formal dinner is served, a pre appetizer gathering is held first. The favorite dishes served there are Clams Casino/Baked Clams, Seafood Salad. Grilled Calamari or Pulpo......

    2. sarah galvin RE: grandgourmand Dec 15, 2008 03:03 PM

      Make some salmon gravlax for an opener.

      1. l
        lexpatti RE: grandgourmand Dec 15, 2008 05:38 PM

        Or the main course a wonderful salmon en croute (in puff pastry). Makes a nice presentation, Like this one:

        http://foodgloriousfood-toto.blogspot...

        4 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti
          grandgourmand RE: lexpatti Dec 16, 2008 04:25 AM

          I would be totally into this, except a couple of xmases ago, i tried my hand at beef wellington. working with the puff pastry gave me headaches and I had worked up my anticipation so much and when it came out flat (i.e. not too puffy) I was devastated. I need a few more years to recover.

          1. re: grandgourmand
            MMRuth RE: grandgourmand Dec 16, 2008 04:27 AM

            Did you buy the puff pastry? I've made a wonderful salmon en croute where you wrap individual pieces of salmon, and you put a layer of butter/ginger/currants between the salmon and the pastry - it's delicious, and was quite easy.

            1. re: MMRuth
              grandgourmand RE: MMRuth Dec 16, 2008 04:46 AM

              Yeah, I bought it. My problem was pretty basic. I had a whole tenderloin, and a pretty big one at that. And patched together two store-bought pieces of puff pastry. Instead, I should have made individual portions. In retrospect, it would have required a bit more effort, but would have been easier to handle.

              1. re: grandgourmand
                MMRuth RE: grandgourmand Dec 16, 2008 04:54 AM

                Also, I believe that I made these salmon packages ahead of time, refrigerated, and then baked, which made it convenient as well. I think I'm going to take a stab at making individual beef wellingtons using Caroline1's recipe for Christmas - there are just three of us.

        2. grandgourmand RE: grandgourmand Dec 16, 2008 04:24 AM

          I like the suggestions..thanks. And, yes, not having lobster or crab is a drag.

          Gravlax, haven't made that in a while. I love the stuff. Scallops will definitely make an appearance. And the whole roasted fish...I think that's a winner. I've got some great Asian markets where I live (toronto) and getting the fish shouldn't be a problem.

          That's pretty efficient.

          1 Reply
          1. re: grandgourmand
            l
            lexpatti RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 05:18 AM

            I just played with a recipe last night and loved it, Scallop En Croute - wrapped packets of sea scallops in pie crusts. I just seasoned them with salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and butter. They were sooo sweet and the pastry really added.

            I'm anxious to play with this idea more, has anyone else wrapped scallops in pastry, pizza dough, phyllo or puff?

          2. FoodChic RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 06:23 AM

            How about a seared tuna appetizer with assorted sauces for dipping?

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoodChic
              grandgourmand RE: FoodChic Dec 18, 2008 08:57 AM

              I love the stuff..but aside from shellfish allergies, I'm dealing with in-laws that don't like anything raw, or close to it. Honestly, they're like kids that say they hate broccoli despite never having tried it. Then they try it, and voila, they like it. But I want a relaxing meal, with no pressure tactics involved.

              Yes, I'm contradicting myself as I will be making gravlax. But I can use some of that over the span of a couple days.

            2. l
              Lenox637 RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 11:32 AM

              A whole fish (or fillets) wrapped in parchment with fresh herbs, butter and a touch of white wine. this can be done with a large presentation or in minis for individual servings. individually wrapped and baked fish is quick, clean and easy. Whole fish encased in a salt and egg white mix is superb as well, just make sure to put herbs and lemon in the fish cavity before encasing in salt or wrapping in parchment.

              1. k
                KiltedCook RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 12:42 PM

                Seafood Paella.

                Get a 1 lb bag of "mixed safood" in the frozen fish section. Add a pound of scallops; a can of artichole hearts, diced red & green bell peppers, celery; a can of whole tomatoes. Good rice of course -1-1/2 cups. Saffron. Add a stick of Andouille sausage. Will feed about 8 people with a side saald and garlic bread..

                1. a
                  Analisas mom RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 04:06 PM

                  Do a seafood Risotto you can use a mix of fish oysters etc. It would be fantastic. I usually do mine with crab and shrimp but any seafood would be great.

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                    phoenikia RE: grandgourmand Dec 18, 2008 07:56 PM

                    I'm probably making either a Moqueca or a Caribbean seafood stew with coconut, cilantro & lime.

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