Seafood Recipes That Are Great Options for Entertaining
Serve seafood at your next meal that brings together hungry friends and family, and make it the appealing focus of the shared table. Why should you serve snappingly fresh fish, like the plump fillets of sautéed seabass pictured here, and crustaceans, both freshwater and salt? There are two compelling reasons: They are delicious, and they are good for us.
But there are many more reasons to entertain with these proteins: Fish and shellfish tend to sit more lightly in our tummies than their land-based, grazing brethren because their proteins are easier to digest—we rise lighter from a fishy table. Wild-caught mollusks and fish tend to be seasonal, and that's especially true if you like to shop locally and sustainably. There is something intrinsically satisfying and celebratory in knowing that you are enjoying a food whose season is fleeting. And for farmed fare (like salmon and branzino), it is reassuring to know that your favorite way of preparing them is unaffected by the time of year.
Visiting your local seafood and farmers' market is always an education in what is available locally (and when), and instant connectivity makes checking the sustainability of a particular catch or briny crop a cinch. If that's not an option for you, we recommend Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, to check on what seafood options are most sustainable at your local grocery store.
From a refreshing salad of raw Arctic char "cooked" simply in citrus juice and grilled oysters drenched in brown butter the most simple, seared fillets of sole and a satisfyingly ample pot pie of salmon, here are our top pescatarian picks to feed a crowd deliciously.
Arctic Char Carpaccio with Beets and Citrus
For a light and vivid appetizer nothing is as easy as a quick carpaccio, where the acid of citrus "cooks" and infuses raw fish with bright flavor.
Grilled Oysters with Compound Butter
Ready in minutes, simple and celebratory oysters turn creamy when grilled and dressed with nutty brown butter.
Hot Crab and Oyster Dip
This creamy dip is so good you may want to offer individual portions: melted cheese and tangy crème fraîche envelop sweet crab and salty oysters—a kick of horseradish to pulls it all together. Crusty bread? Yes!
Clams and White Fish in Carrot-Saffron Broth
For an intimate night in, serve this comforting stew loaded with tender white fish, succulent clams and the earthy warmth of saffron.
Fillets of sole cook very quickly before being dressed with a classic caper butter. To feed a table of four, simply double the recipe (you'll need two large sauté pans).
Salmon and Spinach Potpie
Smoky Shrimp and Sausage Gravy
Seafood with Fennel Broth
Cooked quickly in a blazing oven, paprika, cumin and coriander infuse this celebratory dish of fish with an intense depth of flavor.
Sea Scallops over Shallot-Herb Pasta
The famous, buttery sweetness of sea scallops is emphasized by grilling in this hunger-sating linguine dish made pungent by shallots and two whole cups of fresh herbs.
Flounder in Parchment
What is it about fish gift-wrapped in parchment? The aromatic and escaping steam—perfumed with shiitake and white wine—is part theatre, part promise. Tuck in.