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"Around the world" dinner with seafood only

katecm May 21, 2009 08:46 AM

I'm hosting a dinner party for a friend's birthday. She eats limited seafood - basically shrimp, shelled crab and salmon.

I like doing ethnic themes, but am having a hard time here, especially given her very American cake request, so I've been thinking about doing an "around the world" dinner. I also have a tiny kitchen, so a lot needs to be done ahead of time so that I don't run out of counter space, and so that I can enjoy the party, too.

My two current options: Madhur Jaffrey's garlic and ginger shrimp on toothpicks, crab cocktail with avocado, tomatoes, etc. (which I'll be winging, if anyone has any suggestions about), and salmon pasta with dill, lemon and vodka sauce. I'm really comfortable with this, plus the salmon gets pre-cooked, which avoids stinky salmon apartment and avoids me screwing up the fillets, since I don't like salmon and never cook it. But it's not very "around the world" friendly.

Second option: salmon spring rolls, same crab cocktail, and a Madhur Jaffrey shrimp dinner, TBD.

Which sounds better? Can you think of better options? And can anyone advise on the crab cocktail? I'm pictured it layered, with veggies on bottom, crab tossed with lime, chile, etc. on top. And I'd love a better salmon appetizer idea if I go that route. I really don't want to be searing salmon filets for dinner, FYI. I'm sure there are lots of great recipes, but it keeps me in the kitchen and I really don't have much salmon filet experience.


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  1. Lightsuprooms RE: katecm May 21, 2009 09:00 AM

    what about a salmon teriyaki?

    1. n
      nemo RE: katecm May 21, 2009 09:33 AM

      Spinach and salmon quiche. Could even be made with canned salmon. Small wedges for an appetizer.

      Edit: Not very around-the-world, though.

      1. todao RE: katecm May 21, 2009 12:16 PM

        Medley of Sashimi and an assortment of Sushi with a nice Sake (or other white wine)

        1. greedygirl RE: katecm May 21, 2009 12:22 PM

          How about:
          Tomatoes stuffed with crabmeat
          Poached whole salmon (v. easy, but looks impressive, and can be cooked in advance), with baby new potatoes and asparagus.

          Personally, I would avoid mixing too many ethnic styles in one dinner, but that's just me. If you want something spicy, how about Thai crabcakes?

          1 Reply
          1. re: greedygirl
            beanodc RE: greedygirl May 21, 2009 02:54 PM

            This is a great menu because it can all be done in advance except to stuff the tomatoes at the last minute. If you use small tomatoes you could also add a grilled/skewered shrimp starter also - again done in advance. There was a recent thread on poached salmon.

          2. k
            KiltedCook RE: katecm May 21, 2009 01:00 PM

            Ha Gow - Chinese Shrimp Toast appetizers with a soy/ginger dipping sauce.

            Caribbean Basil Mango Shrimp Cocktail/Salad

            Pacific Northwest Baked Salmon with Dill Entree
            Classic Maryland Crabcakes Entree with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
            and Ginger-Orange Glazed Carrot Ribbons

            For dessert make Bobby Flay's White Gaspacho.

            1. pitu RE: katecm May 21, 2009 03:28 PM

              how about
              crab spring rolls,
              Hanoi Shrimp Cakes (a shrimp and sweet potato fritter)
              from Mai Pham's Peasures of the Vietnamese Table
              2 minute Sicilian Lifeguard Squid (from Mario Batali)
              capers, currants, chililflakes, squid in red sauce and Israeli couscous

              1 Reply
              1. re: pitu
                katecm RE: pitu May 22, 2009 06:42 AM

                Not sure if my newly fish-eating former vegetarian is ready for squid, but I may have to save that one for myself! The others sound good, though. I'm basically going to do one course of salmon, one of shrimp, one of crab, it's just trying to figure out what and in what order. I really like your first two suggestions. Thanks!

              2. s
                salsailsa RE: katecm May 21, 2009 04:33 PM

                Regarding the crab cocktail, I have often had shrimp cocktail served in an avocado half in Mexico. You could make a Crab Louis dressing and toss the crab and serve in avocados.

                I personally love the idea of a shrimp curry(Madhur Jaffrey) served over basmati.

                As for the salmon, the only downside of springrolls is that if you are deep frying, they will certainly smell up the apartment

                If you want to try a different, non smelly twist on salmon, you might try homemade gravlox.

                2 Replies
                1. re: salsailsa
                  katecm RE: salsailsa May 22, 2009 06:43 AM

                  I was actually thinking I'd pre-fry the spring rolls and warm them in a hot oven - though that would probably still cause the stinkiness. I've done it well with pork lumpia, but that doesn't have the smelly issues.

                  Service in the avocado shell is a nice idea. And that's one vote for the shrimp curry. I'm definitely not yet decided, if you can't all tell. I've gone through my entire magazine and cookbook collection and keep changing my mind.

                  1. re: salsailsa
                    pitu RE: salsailsa May 22, 2009 07:15 AM

                    I had a faaabulous shrimp curry recently, made with cucumber of all things!
                    Recipe was from the book 'Thai food' by David Thompson

                  2. ipsedixit RE: katecm May 21, 2009 11:15 PM

                    How about ...

                    Filet-O-Fish (American)
                    Fish & Chips (British)
                    Fish Tacos (Mexican)

                    1. l
                      lexpatti RE: katecm May 22, 2009 07:26 AM

                      I do this seafood mango avacado tower salad (see pic) that is delish and pretty.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lexpatti
                        katecm RE: lexpatti May 22, 2009 08:03 AM

                        That's pretty much what I was planning for the cocktail! What do you use for the dressing? I was picturing lime juice, cilantro, honey, jalapenos...

                        1. re: katecm
                          lexpatti RE: katecm May 22, 2009 08:27 AM

                          mine doesn't have a dressing, each layer has it's own flavor but lime juice, cilantro and heat are throughout so your dressing sounds wonderful.

                          sounds like a great theme party

                      2. l
                        lexpatti RE: katecm May 22, 2009 07:28 AM

                        sorry, here's the pic:

                        Also, I've done a nice crab citrus salsa in those phyllo cups - very refreshing too.

                        1. LaLa RE: katecm May 22, 2009 08:14 AM

                          I love a warm crab dip with toast points.
                          Shrimp quesdillas?
                          salmon croquettes?

                          1. hotoynoodle RE: katecm May 22, 2009 08:24 AM

                            salmon ceviche, crab cakes with remoulade, shrimp with olives, garlic, capers, feta and tomatoes, over rice or orzo. you could pre-make the starch and make it into a room temp salad with lemony vinaigrette.

                            i'm not a fan of reheated spring rolls --they lose that snappy crisp. but you can par-cook the crab cakes with no issue.

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