Fruits de Mer Platter
Fill the tiered platter with just as much seafood as it can hold comfortably; refrigerate the rest until you are ready to replenish the platter.
- 1/2 bottle (375 mL) dry white wine
- 1/4 cup coarse salt or sea salt
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 live lobsters (each 1 1/4 pounds)
- 6 king crab legs (1 3/4 pounds total)
- 2 pounds large shrimp in shells
- 24 oysters
- 12 littleneck clams
- Crushed ice
- 2 to 4 ounces caviar, such as North American osetra
- Toast points
- Classic Cocktail Sauce
- Saffron Mayonnaise
- Mignonette Sauce
- Lemon wedges
Make the court-bouillon: Prepare a large ice-water bath. Fill a 3-gallon pot with cold water. Add wine, salt, lemons, paprika, coriander seeds, celery seed, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Cook seafood: Add lobsters head first to court-bouillon. Cover; return to a boil. Cook 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobsters to ice-water bath. Add crab legs to court-bouillon. Return to a boil; cook 8 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a plate; immediately add crab legs to ice-water bath, adding more ice as needed. Add shrimp to court-bouillon. Return to a boil; cook until shrimp are pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp to ice-water bath; let crab legs and shrimp cool completely. Transfer to a plate.
Separate tails, claws, and knuckles from lobsters; using kitchen shears or a knife, split tails lengthwise through shells, then halve crosswise. Crack claws and knuckles so that meat can be easily removed. Separate crab legs at knuckles. Using kitchen shears, cut away a piece of shell so meat can be easily removed. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Transfer lobster pieces, crab legs, and shrimp to a rimmed baking sheet; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or overnight.
Assemble the platter: Just before serving, fill a 3-tier glass serving stand with crushed ice. Shuck the oysters and clams; set flat on bottom tier so that juices do not spill. Arrange lobsters and shrimp on middle tier. Put caviar into a small bowl, and set in center of top tier; arrange crab legs around caviar. Serve with toast points, the cocktail sauce, saffron mayonnaise, mignonette sauce, and lemon wedges.