The winter months are notorious for heavy, hearty comfort foods with countless calories. We have another idea for eating well during the holidays without expanding the waistline, and that’s seafood. Plenty of great fish is in season right now, and we’re about to tell you how to take advantage of it for any holiday meal or party!
Winter Crab Bisque
A lightened version of this creamy soup is perfect for a holiday party, especially considering that Dungeness Crab is in season this time of year.
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 1 c corn
- 1 chopped bell pepper, yellow
- 2 diced russet potatoes
- 1 c sherry
- 1 c low-fat milk
- 1 c greek yogurt
- ¾ t paprika
- 2 cups seafood stock
- 12 OZ crab meat
- ½ t salt
Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and corn, cook until pepper and onion soften (6 minutes). Next, add paprika and potatoes. Scrape any browned bits and add sherry, cooking until the liquid slightly reduces (5 minutes). Add seafood stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir occasionally until potatoes are tender (15 minutes).
Puree vegetable mixture in a blender, in 2 separate batches. Be careful when pureeing hot liquids! Put pureed mixture back in pan, add salt, milk and crab. Cook until heated and combined (4 minutes).
Panko Breaded Calamari
When you’re ringing in the new year this January, consider adding calamari to your party platter! Calamari Squid makes it debut between January and March, so there couldn’t be a better time to pull out the frying pan.
- 2 large squid pieces, cleaned
- 1 C flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¾ t salt
- ¾ t pepper
- ¾ t turmeric
- ½ c vegetable oil
- 3 c panko
Slice squid into 1” thick rings and place on paper towel lined plate. Mix panko, flour, salt, pepper and turmeric in a ziploc bag. Dip 5-6 rings in egg then toss in flour mixture.
Heat ½ c oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place squid rings into oil, don’t overcrowd. Rings should begin to bubble, cook for 1-2 minutes being sure not to overcook. When calamari begins to turn golden, remove from oil and place on plates lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining rings.
Serve with marinara sauce.
Lucky for all of us, oysters are in season year-round! We take advantage of ‘em just about every day at Julington Creek Fish Camp, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same. They’re easy to prepare and there’s just about a million different ways to serve them, and this is one of our favorites:
- 2 dozen medium fresh oysters in shell
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 3 T butter, divided
- 3 green onions, minced
- 1 ½ c bread crumbs, left out for a day
- 5 cloves garlic, pressed
- ¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 t chopped thyme
- 2 t chopped oregano
- 4 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ t pepper
- ½ t kosher salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Rock salt
Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from top. Shuck oysters, reserving bottom shells and 1 T oyster liquid. Gently loosen oyster from shell. Melt 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil in skillet over low heat, stir in breadcrumb and remaining 9 ingredients. Take off heat.
Microwave remaining olive oil and butter for 20 seconds then stir in reserved oyster liquid. Spread rock salt in a layer in a shallow pan. Place oysters inside shells on rock salt. Spoon breadcrumb mixture into each oyster then drizzle with olive oil mixture. Broil 5 minutes, until breadcrumb is browned.
Whether you’re throwing a party or having a quiet dinner in, these recipes are perfect for just about every crowd and occasion. But if you aren’t in the mood to cook a holiday meal on your own, head on into Julington Creek Fish Camp for some fresh seafood! We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a great new year.