• Monday, July 24, 2017

Seafood Recipes for Christmas

Christmas Eve Fish Fête
By , CYJ Contributor
December 19, 2012

As the holiday season kicks into high gear and expectations for a perfect Christmas build, the kitchen clamors for your blood, sweat, and tears. Save the stress (there will be plenty of that in trying to pick out your mother-in-law’s gift), and sing this ode to the feast of seven fishes. Galavante’s Christmas dinner will live up to the hype and satisfy your ravenous, merry guests. We’ve based these recipes on tasting portions and slipped in a healthy dose of wine and liquor to maintain the holiday cheer.

Salmon Tartare with Fried Capers

Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 oz salmon filet, skin, and bones removed, minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Don’t underestimate the importance of the first bite of any meal, let alone a holiday tasting menu, in setting the tone for an entire evening. This is a light start(pacing is key, after all, in a marathon feast), but if you’re still nervous, pair it with champagne to take the edge off.

Yield: 6 servings

In a medium bowl, add shallot, mustard, olive oil, and lemon juice. Whisk well. Add salmon, and gently mix.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add capers. Cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally until capers are crispy. Fold capers into salmon mixture. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.

Serve with toasted baguette.

Mussels with Sherry and Chorizo

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb chorizo, diagonally cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
5 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup good Spanish sherry, such as El Maestro Sierra, Fino
1/4 cup water
4 lbs mussels, scrubbed well and debearded
1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Directions

As you place this dish in front of your guests, the smell of steaming, briny mussels is impossible to ignore. The sauce has a sweet and spicy tang thanks to the sherry and chili flakes. Don’t forget to offer a side bowl for empty shells!

Yield: 6 servings

Add oil to a stockpot on medium heat. Add chorizo and cook for 5 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and reserve. Add garlic and chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, sherry, and water, and bring to a boil. Add mussels and chorizo, and cover pot. Cook until shells open, about 5 minutes. Discard those that don’t open. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. 

Salt Cod Croquettes with Red Pepper Aioli

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed into a paste
2 large roasted red peppers, skin removed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
5 oz skinless, boneless salt cod
10 oz russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

The crunchy outer shell of these tiny bits of goodness give way to a creamy filling that’s piping hot. Be generous with the aioli, and serve with an acidic salad on the side.

Yield: 6 servings

In a medium bowl, add yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and a healthy pinch of salt. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup oil, whisking constantly, until mixture has emulsified. When all oil has been added, whisk an additional 15 seconds. Add garlic and mix well. Cover and set aside.

In a large bowl, cover cod with cold water, wrap with Saran, and refrigerate for 24 hours. (Over the course of 24 hours, change the water 4 or 5 times.) Drain the cod, place in a saucepan, and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Bring to a simmer, and remove from heat. Drain cod, flake it, and place it into a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes, and drain. Pass potatoes through a ricer and add to cod. Add 1 tablespoon oil, shallots, garlic, and parsley. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper.

Roll cod mixture into 1/2-inch balls. Dip croquettes into flour, then egg. Allow excess egg to drip off, then place in breadcrumb mixture so that they are evenly coated.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a sauté pan. When temperature of oil reaches 365˚F, add croquettes. Cook until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with aioli.

Capellini with Crab and Lemon

Ingredients

1 lb capellini
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, diced small
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz jumbo lump crab, remaining bits of shell removed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

A feast of the seven fishes wouldn’t be complete without a pasta course. You might be tempted to skip a step and omit the breadcrumbs, but they give a nice crunch that you’ll miss.

Yield: 6 servings

Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Season water with salt, and add capellini. Cook until al dente, about 4–5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before straining.

Add oil to a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add shallots, and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Add butter. When butter has melted, add crab and lemon juice. Sauté until crab is warm. Add capellini, lemon juice, and 1/2-cup pasta water. Mix well. If capellini is too dry, add additional pasta water as necessary. Season with salt and pepper, and add parsley.

Divide mixture into 6 individual pasta bowls. Sprinkle each portion with breadcrumbs, and serve immediately. 

Crispy Sole with Parsnip Purée

Ingredients

2 lb parsnips, peeled and diced into 1-inch-thick pieces
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 gray sole filets, bones and skin removed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Wondra flour, for dredging

Directions

This parsnip purée is a nice alternative to the usual potato version. If you’re looking to introduce a bit of greenery to the meal, garlicky kale would be ideal.

Yield: 6 servings

Add parsnips to pot, and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Boil until parsnips are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, and add parsnips to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add butter. Purée until smooth. Add cream, and pulse another few seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

Pat sole dry, and season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and flour to a small bowl. Dip filets into flour until well coated. Shake gently to remove excess.

Add oil to a nonstick sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add sole and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with warm parsnips.

Lobster with Mushrooms, Peas, and Tarragon Butter

Ingredients

1 lb white button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh peas
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup Sambuca or other anise-flavored liquor
4 lobster tails, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons tarragon, minced
1 tablespoon chives, minced
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Before the family slips into a food coma, it’s time to bust out the big-ticket splurge item. Lobster, mushrooms, and peas form a perfect trinity – butter doesn’t hurt either. If tarragon isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute with chervil, parsley, or thyme.

Yield: 6 servings

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Add mushrooms to a large bowl. Pour oil over mushrooms, tossing gently, and season with salt and pepper. Place mushrooms in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until golden brown and slightly crispy, about 20-25 minutes.

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain peas and place in a bowl of ice water.

Add butter to a sauté pan on medium heat. Add shallots, and cook until lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and Sambuca, and cook for 2 minutes. Add lobster, mushrooms, and peas. When lobster is warmed through, add tarragon and chives. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary.

Roasted Branzino with Ginger, Garlic, and Chili

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing fish
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 Thai chili, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
6 (1 1/2 lb) whole branzino, cleaned, scaled, and gutted
3 scallions, green parts only, julienned
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

We like to end multi-course dinners as we started– light and bright. The ginger offers a soothing palate cleanser, and the chili keeps it interesting.

Yield: 6 servings

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Add 2 tablespoons oil to a sauté pan on medium heat.  Add ginger and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili and cook for 30 seconds. Add juices, and remove from heat.  

Brush outside of fish with oil. Season outside and cavity of fish with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Spoon ginger mixture inside cavity of fish.

Roast in oven for 5–6 minutes per side, until flesh is just cooked through. Garnish with scallions, and serve.

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