HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


7 Fishes -- give me some kind of easy, tasty fish dishes

  • v

I am first gen Italian American. My mother always did the Seven Fishes including a wonderful Zuppa di Pesce, Pasta con vongole, bacala and friend smelts. I work full-time, have a small apartment in Brooklyn and while I pride myself in being a pretty good cook, that level of seafood cooking is too ambitious for me. I usually make pasta con vongole and some sort of easy shrimp dish. I would love to add one more dish. Anything easy-ish/foolproof-ish and possible made ahead of time-ish?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You can make this calamari salad a day ahead and either serve cold or take it out of the fridge early to serve at room temp...


    1. Not something you can make ahead but easy and close to fool proof is a nice chunk of fished poached and drizzled with sage brown butter. Halibut is great. So is cod.

      Another that you can make ahead is slipper lobster tails, steamed or boiled and then chilled, with a spoon of sour cream and some lumpfish caviar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tim irvine

        Yes on poached fish. You can make several small packets with different things on top, like lemon and herbs or salsa or whatever else you can think up or care to try or ever heard of. And then cook in about 12 to 15 minutes. And when you cut them open and get a whiff .. WOW.

      2. What about something raw? An italian crudo, or a hawaiian poke. Lots or recipes online, and it's not hard at all!

        1. branzino ceviche?
          lime juice, chiles, coriander leaves,... fish in for about 30 mins in the refrigerator and you're done.


          sea urchin pasta.
          sea urchin (assuming you have a source) butter, chile flakes.
          all in the blender; toss over hot pasta.

          1. Crabcakes or steamed crabs
            Smoked oysters on toasts as an app
            Snapper/fluke crudo similar to this one:

            1. Are you actually trying to get 7 types of seafood/fish in the menu? You could do mussels and clams in the pasta con vongole, use Ina Gartin's recipe for baked shrimp scampi, but also add scallops. Make a crab dip as an appetizer. A calamari or lobster salad. And fish pouched in foil or parchment packs.

              For foil packs, I like halibut, topped with jarred sun-dried tomato pesto, a thin slice of lemon and a few basil leaves. Bake for about 15 minutes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Springhaze2

                I was going to second the idea of a crab dip - super easy and fun.

              2. Steamed whole fish, Chinese style perhaps?

                1. If you have a good fish market around you or a good market, they may have prepared flounder stuffed with crab meat. Just dab with butter and broil. Easy and quick, but good.

                  1. Stuffed clams ... easy peasy.

                    1. Can you buy baccalà already soaked and ready to cook? Even if you can't, this is easy, foolproof, make-ahead (freezable), Italian, and delicious.

                      Baccalà in guazzetto:

                      1 1/2 lb salt cod fillets
                      1/4 cup extravirgin olive oil
                      about 2 cups thin-sliced onion
                      2 tablespoons pine nuts
                      2 heaping tablespoons raisins, soaked in warm water and squeezed dry
                      1 1/2 cups tomato purée

                      Makes 4 servings

                      If you don’t buy the fish already soaked, leave it in cold water slowly running water for 24 hours, with frequent changes of water. Then pat the fillets dry, cut them lengthwise down the middle, and cut them across at intervals of about 1 to 1 1/2 inch.

                      Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Sauté the sliced onion until golden brown. Add the cod to the pan and brown on each side.

                      Add the pine nuts, raisins, and tomato purée. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until the fish is quite tender.

                      Transfer to a warmed serving dish. Mashed potatoes make a wonderful accompaniment. This dish reheats well and can even be frozen.

                      Source: Williams-Sonoma, Foods of the World: Rome (which I wrote)

                      1. Nothing is easier or more satisfying for me than....A Seafood Salad....


                        any combination mixed with Olive Oil, Celery and Red Onion.

                        Olives optional

                        If pre making....leave out the acid.

                        I prefer to serve mine warm with lemon on the side.

                          1. Little fried fish are pretty foolproof actually - you only need about 1/2" of oil in a frying pan, not a deep fryer, and all you have to do is toss the fish in seasoned flour, dust them off and cook them for just a few minutes.

                              1. re: tcamp

                                NY Times yesterday had 7 yummy fish recipes to satisfy this holiday. I'd try any of them.