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Dec 19, 2013 02:17 PM

Xmas eve seafood dinner- feedback welcome

My wife and I will be entertaining 8-10 guest Xmas eve. I will be doing the majority of the cooking and tried to craft the menu so that I'll still be able to enjoy my guests company. We have been going back and forth on if we need additional entree's in addition to the lobsters or if it will be too much food or take away from the lobster. The shrimp and fish entree listed are still up in the air. My proposed menu is as follows:

Antipasta (olives, roasted pepper, marinated artichokes)
Cold seafood salad- shrimp and calamari (I'll prepare that day)
Shrimp cocktail- homemade cocktail sauce and a remoulade
baked clams
crab dip
fried clamari

Lobster ravioli- buying homemade from pasta store

Whole lobster each with butter
baked Shrimp dish- either stuffed shrimp, cocnut shrimp or scampi
fish dish- meditaranian style cod w/capers or filet of sole


The apps will be pretty easy to pull off as only the fried calamari will need to be done at time of serving. The majority of my time will be spent boiling 10 lobsters for the entrees.

Any thoughts or suggestions on the menu? Right amount of food, or way too much? Thanks

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    1. Do a different ravioli if having the whole lobster.

      How are you cooking 8-10 lobsters at one time?

      Agree, oysters are a must, preferably on the half shell - if not definitely need something raw

      I think you have too many appetizers - quality over quantity, it's suppose to be an appetizer course so less is more IMO

      Cooking fish (sole) for 8-10 may be a challenge, so might consider something like a casserole (like your shrimp dish)

      3 Replies
      1. re: pegasis0066

        as much as i love oysters, not everybody does and not everybody knows how to shuck them properly.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Everybody may not like baked clams, or fried calamari so you would ax them too?? Offer choices. People will eat what they want....pass on the things they don't. amiright?

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            true, true and the op knows his friends better than we do. :)

      2. how big are the lobsters? even if they are chickens, this is way too much food. do you have stove space to boil/steam 10 lobsters at once? if not, you might want to consider roasting them.

        i don't think you need a shrimp app plus a shrimp entree.

        antipasto, baked clams and crab dip are plenty to start. this also means no fussing with last-minute frying when you will be needing to deal with the lobsters.

        i certainly don't think you need lobster ravioli in here too. if you want a segue course, how about a soup? this might be the time to do the squash? acorn squash and ginger soup? keep the portions small.

        do you really need another entree besides the lobster? you could offer the lobster ravs as a side. i am in new england so asparagus is terrible right now. i'd just do steamed broccoli or roasted green beans and forget the kale and squash as sides.

        what's for dessert? ;)

        1. I would replace the seafood salad with salmon mousse. I would skip the baked shrimp and the crab dip. How about a brandade de morue or salt cod fritters. I would do one of each fish/seafood that you like. One clam, salmon, salt cod, shrimp, lobster, octopus, squid, crab, halibut, mussels etc..

          1 Reply
          1. re: DowntownJosie

            for whatever reason, my demented brain kept reading the op as new year's eve, not christmas. so, "duh" moment here.

            are you doing a seven fishes dinner?

            you could do a cold calamari (solo) salad, baked clams and crab dip to start. oysters too if they are a good fit, lol. can do oyster rockefeller which can be prepped ahead and just run under the broiler to serve.

            next a smallish portion of streamlined bouillabaisse. traditionally it has 5 kinds of fish, but 3 would be fine. choose whitefishes, with some shrimp or scallops as a garnish.

            and i still think the lobster should be the star, without another entree.

          2. The menu was altered when my MIL unexpectedly was offer the lobsters from her job, and I obviously couldn't pass them up. The plan was to boil them in 2 big pots. 2 in each and then put aside in a covered tin. I think they will be fine and the whole process should take me an hour or so.

            The abundance of apps were really if I was to serve the lobster as the sole entree. If I was to make shrimp and or fish I would likely scrap 1-2 of the apps.

            As for the oysters I'd love to do them, but have never had much success shucking them. I appreciate all of the feedback. It's my 1st time cooking that many lobsters for entertaining, but think it shouldn't b too difficult to pull off, though it will b time consuming.

            6 Replies
            1. re: jnab121

              My MIL back in the day used to make at least that many lobsters, and she baked them in the oven over a pan of water. Stuffing optional. For a crowd that may be the way to go.

              1. re: coll

                yeah, irt's like steaming, but in the oven. stove-top cooking in 5 batches will mean some people get lukewarm lobster.

                1. re: coll

                  This is interesting. Did she do it in something like a roasting pan with a rack? Did she split them or put them on the rack whole? For how long and at what temp? I've been trying to figure out the best way to do it. Thanks

                  1. re: jnab121

                    She laid them out whole on trays; one shelf they had stuffing, one plain. A pan of water, probably on the oven bed. I had just joined the family, so I only had glimpses, all I know is she knew how to serve a lobster!

                2. re: jnab121

                  The plan was to boil them in 2 big pots. 2 in each...

                  How big are these pots, how many and how big are the lobsters?

                  1. re: jnab121

                    <<<As for the oysters I'd love to do them, but have never had much success shucking them.>>>>

                    Buy them already shucked! ~ I buy them by the gallon...lesser amounts are also available.