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Help with Ideas for Christmas Eve – Hot and Cold Seafood Buffet

nsstampqueen Dec 14, 2010 09:46 AM

Here are some of my ideas for a hot and cold seafood buffet for xmas eve. I am looking for things I can mostly make in the afternoon and keep hot or cold for the evening. Problem is, as big a foodie as I claim to be, my brother-in-law always tries to outdo me. This year I would really like to blow him away with items he has never had before.

I always make steamed mussels in garlic, shallots and white wine; we always have jumbo shrimp cocktail; sometimes we have steamed clams; we will be having whole steamed lobster this year; smoked oysters; crab cakes; calamari, and I am thinking of doing a crawfish boil or a dish called Buon Natale Dungeness Crab (saw Cat Cora make it on TV on the weekend – looked delicious).

Anyone have any other ideas to either add to or replace from the ones above???

  1. p
    Philly Ray Dec 14, 2010 07:22 PM

    Try making the mussels in a Thai curry coconut milk type of broth.


    1. Tom P Dec 14, 2010 01:33 PM

      This is a family specialty and it both tasty and beautiful. You can serve it with toothpicks or as a salad (see below). Very easy and is always gangbusters with a party crowd. It is a vinaigrette version of a shrimp remoulade (named for my aunt, who makes it). It doubles or triples easily and you make it the day before. Just be sure to take it from the fridge at least an hour before:


      2 lbs peeled, cooked shrimp
      11/2 cup olive oil
      1 cup red wine vinegar
      4 T chili sauce
      1/2 cup Creole mustard (I life to use a mustard that is NOT smooth; one with peppercorns, for instance)
      1 cup chopped celery
      1 cup chopped green onions
      2 bay leaves
      red pepper

      mix all ingredients, save shrimp, together to create marinade. Marinate shrimp over night in refrigerator.

      serve with toothpicks in pretty bowl as an appetizer.

      For a gorgeous, wonderful salad :

      Arrange mixed greens (for this salad, I like baby lettuce and red leaf lettuce) on salad plate. ladle shrimp and marinade over the lettuce and garnish with sliced avocados and, if desired, fresh lump crabmeat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tom P
        alkapal Dec 14, 2010 03:52 PM

        nice idea of the remoulade vinaigrette!

      2. Uncle Bob Dec 14, 2010 12:51 PM

        Raw Oysters........

        1. linguafood Dec 14, 2010 12:41 PM

          A poached whole filet of salmon with red onions, capers, horseradish crème fraîche would work well and can be prepared in advance as it can or should be served cold.

          Hey, I know I'd eat it!

          1. g
            goodeatsgal Dec 14, 2010 12:36 PM

            The San Francisco Chronicle had a recipe last year for Oven-Baked Cioppino and Smoked Trout Rillettes. They gave you lots of tips to prepare most of the Cioppino ahead of time. In fact, I'm going to try making it this weekend. The Cioppino contains fresh fish, shrimp and Dungeness crab.

            1. f
              fourunder Dec 14, 2010 11:06 AM

              Some past comments and ideas I have made on the subject....


              These following items have been on past menus from different Christmas Eve Dinners I have be fortunate enough to have been invited to over the years, Usually, the evenings start out with many different hors doeuvres first before the more formal sit down meal:

              Seafood Cheese Dips
              Clams and Oysters on the Half Shell
              Fried Calamari
              Fried Oysters
              Fried Fish
              Fried Shrimp
              Fried Smelts, Anchovies or Sardines
              Baked Clams
              Clams Casino
              Seafood Salad... Calamari, Pulpo, Scungelli, Mussels and Shrimp
              Crab Cakes
              Grilled Scallops
              Grilled Calamari or Pulpo

              Stuffed Sole
              Stuffed Calamari
              Whole Baked Fish
              Pasta with Clam Sauce
              Lobster Tails
              Pan Fried Fillets of Fish
              Fish Cakes...Baccala made with mashed potatoes and a panko crust
              Zuppa de Pesce
              Zuppa de Clams

              1. baldwinwood Dec 14, 2010 10:47 AM

                How many people will be attending?

                You can make branzino or stripped bass in kosher salt. If you plan on feeding 10+ people, get a whole(wild) stripped bass and cook it in kosher salt. Or you can serve branzino(one can feed two people) the same way.

                Not labor intensive, makes for a very impressive presentation and both taste great!

                1. mamachef Dec 14, 2010 09:54 AM

                  Love love LOVE the crawfish boil idea, which opens up an entire world of possibilities if you want to make it a Bayou-centric celebration. I also like a freshwater crustacean being represented, in addition to all the seafood - which by the way sounds delicious.

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