The Most Popular Seafood Dishes This Holiday Season
The all-American Christmas dinner usually centers around meaty main dishes like turkey, ham, and roast beef, but adding popular seafood dishes to the celebration can make for a more healthful, colorful, and exciting dinner. Whether inspired by the Italian-style Feast of the Seven Fishes, or just by the endless delicious holiday seafood recipes, there are tons of ways to add a little touch—or big splash—of seafood to your menu.
Because seafood often cooks quickly, adding holiday seafood recipes to your menu planning can free up oven space or give you a little more time to spend with your family. Popular seafood dishes for Christmas dinners include centerpiece-worthy Alaskan king crab legs, big fillets of halibut that can anchor a meal, and rich salmon sides. You can kick off your dinner menu with holiday seafood recipes for smaller items like jumbo scallops or halibut cheeks, which both make for luxurious starts to big meals. Gorgeous, gem-colored tuna livens up any kind of salad, whether as carpaccio under a pile of arugula or sesame-crusted and sliced on top. Large pots of multi-fish stews like a cioppino or moqueca make a great pescatarian supplement to a meaty meal, and folks who mark the occasion with a brunch can add a bit of elegance to a spread with platters of chilled shrimp, smoked fish and shellfish, and freshly shucked oysters.
If you’re looking for holiday seafood recipes that will look as good on the table as a entire roast or bird, go for whole fish: you can roast an entire branzino or bring the bright orange of a salmon to the table. For a spot of elegance, try popular seafood dishes that work as individually plated dishes, like Dungeness crab halves or lobster tails, both of which give you a bold pop of red on the plate (add a little parsley garnish, and it’s perfect for Christmas!). Cooking fish en papillote (in paper) makes for tender fish and gives everyone their own package to unwrap on the plate. For a less elaborate feast, look to incorporate a little shellfish into a classic menu by adding popular seafood dishes like clam chowder to the table or weaving spot prawns into your pasta course. No matter your crowd or your cooking ability, seafood fits in almost anywhere on the holiday table.