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Seafood Main Course for 8 That Doesn't Break the Bank?

Alright folks,

I may be asking for things that are mutally exclusive, but this weekend my wife and I will be hosting a gathering for my fishing buddies and their wives, for a total of 8 of us. Given that we're a "fishing" group (i.e., spend a lot of time drinking and eating and occasionally fishing), I would like to do a seafood dish, but here are the caveats:

a.) I don't want spend all of my time in the kitchen or at the grill while my friends are visiting. Ideally it's a dish I can do most of the prep before they arrive;

b.) It shouldn't be too expensive, like maybe $10 - $12 a plate (not including wine and so forth);

c.) If it's a one pot type meal, even better.

I should point out that in LA it's supposed to be hot this weekend and we'll be outside, so ideally I have something a bit "light" and summery. I will have a couple of salads as sides.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Probably not suitable for the weather, but mussels are cheap and a no brainer to cook -- sauté garlic celery & shallots in a big pot, load in the mussels, splash in wine, lid on & presto. Lots of good bread & plenty of muscadet and you're all set.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rjbh20

      That went through my head too, but you're right, it may not be right for the weather. Thanks.

      1. re: rjbh20

        Mussels would certainly fit the one pot meal criteria. And man, you sure can't beat the price.

        1. re: rjbh20

          I recently saw an episode of ATK where they steamed mussels for a crowd in a roasting pan in the oven. Makes sense for a large quantity. http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ep...

          1. re: CindyJ

            NOw through AUgust is the time for mussels. They are at their best & cheapest right now. Mussels Marinara... Big bowl of Linguini w/ parmesan & butter, Greek salad (tomatoes, Feta, red onions, cucumbers, V&O & Basil) & a nice crusty bread.

        2. Peel 'n eat shrimp served with a variety of sauces/dips
          Slaw and another green salad
          Baked potatoes with several topping choices
          Beer/Wine
          Cobbler and watermelon

          Spread your patio table with newspapers

          1. How about a Nicoise Salad, made with fresh salmon, instead of tuna. Everything can be prepared ahead, and just assembled on a large platter for service. Ina Garten has a great recipe. I've recommended it many times. Google Ina's roasted salmon Nicoise Salad. Serve with some great bread, chilled wine, and it's perfect.

            3 Replies
            1. re: critter101

              Oh, I'll check that out. Anything Ina makes is great.

              1. re: EarlyBird

                I was going to recommend the same thing. Most of it can be done ahead and the whole thing can be served at room temperature. Plus it's just really pretty! Here's the one I did for a party earlier this month, using local lake trout instead of salmon.

                Here's Ina recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                Note that there is a mistake in the recipe -- when you make the marinade for the salmon, do NOT add the lemon juice, just the zest. It's meant to be a paste, not a liquid marinade. Apparently if you watch the video, she doesn't add any juice, but the error hasn't been corrected.

                 
                1. re: TorontoJo

                  Thanks a million. Beautiful photos.

            2. I live on the other coast but we do a lowcountry boil for this type of thing! It hits all three of your points
              http://www.chefrick.com/low-country-s...

              Http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
              We also do perloo / pilau that is easy and inexpensive
              Something like

              http://therunawayspoon.com/blog/2014/...
              http://cookforrestcook.blogspot.com/2...

              2 Replies
              1. re: LaLa

                Definately the seafood boil! Totally perfect, a seafood based one pot meal that is also fun with a group!

                1. re: LaLa

                  LaLa, this looks like a winner! I think I'll go with this one.

                  Thanks to all for your ideas and help.

                2. Roasted Red Pepper Crab pasta. Make your pasta.

                  Dice roasted peppers: I smoke bushels in the Fall and freeze, but canned works. Saute some garlic in butter and add the roasted peppers. Add a sweet onion diced or mushrooms diced if you like. Add canned crab meat or cleaned shrimp or both. Add sour cream and cheese (we like a mix of Italian hard cheeses), stir and serve. Add cooked pasta and stir until coated. Simple and stretches a pound or two of seafood.

                  And this flounder recipe--without the bok choy but shredded potato in it's place--is a good one we like. http://www.ucook.com/Recipes/RecipeFu...