Hot Seafood Appetizers
Seafood dinners are typically very popular to serve around Christmas and New Year’s. Dishes like lobster, crab, and shrimp tend to elevate the atmosphere of a dinner party or automatically categorize a meal as “gourmet” or “fancy.” Perhaps this is the reason many hosts and hostesses like to add seafood courses to their holiday menus.
Others see the holiday season as an extra-special occasion, worth splurging on with premium ingredients not otherwise typical of an “everyday” dinner. This is an opportunity to spoil one’s family with an extra gift of delicious flavors.
And still for other families, it’s about tradition. This may be in a “my family’s always done it this way!” sense or one in line with specific religious or cultural customs. For example, many Italian-Americans have a customary “Feast of the Seven Fishes” on Christmas Eve which, as the name suggests, typically consists of seven (or more) types of seafood dishes. This tradition is similar to the Roman-Catholic custom of abstaining from meat before a major holiday or celebration.
Whether your reason is one of the above, or you’re just looking to switch things up for your next dinner party, adding seafood to your menu in the form of mini assorted appetizers is a unique and cost-effective method!
Choose a few of the below seafood recipe ideas to make a diverse appetizer spread!
Mixed Seafood Canapés
These hot seafood canapes, which are similar to a bruschetta or crostini, are topped with a mixture of crab meat, shrimp, jalapeno, scallions, tomato, dill, mayo, cream cheese, and spices. They are served up on lightly toasted strips of Martin’s Hoagie Rolls and baked in the oven until warm and melty.
Crispy Baked Shrimp with Secret Sauce
This recipe puts a lighter spin on the traditional deep-fried and heavily sauced version found at many restaurants. These crispy baked shrimp are coated with Martin’s Potatobred Stuffing-turned breadcrumbs, then served with a “secret” sauce blend.
Mini Fish Taco Bowls
Prepared breaded fish sticks make this recipe a cinch; just bake, then serve with a quick-tossed cilantro-lime coleslaw and seasoned mayo atop Martin’s Butter Bread “taco” bowls. Add a lime wedge for garnish and you have a quick and easy, yet stunning, presentation.
Crab Rangoon Crostini
These delicious crostini from blogger Snappy Gourmet are based on a favorite Chinese restaurant appetizer: Crab Rangoon topped with Sweet & Sour sauce. Requiring only seven ingredients and 30 minutes to make, these mini apps are quick and easy to put together.
Mini Shrimp Rolls
These adorable appetizer bites from Bon Appetit fill toasted, top-sliced Martin’s Party Potato Rolls with a shrimp and celery salad mixture flavored with lemon juice and horseradish.
Crab Cake Bites
Using fresh Martin’s Potato Bread-crumbs, you can create the perfect crust layer for these mini appetizer bites filled with lump crab meat, cream cheese, parmesan, lemon zest, and Old Bay seasoning, among other herbs and spices. A simple and delicious holiday snack!
Grilled Fish Sliders
Gear up for the New Year with healthy indulgences like marinated-then-grilled mahi mahi topped with cilantro-lime cabbage slaw, roasted pineapple-jalapeno spread, and fresh avocado, served on a soft Martin’s Sandwich Potato Roll (or use a smaller roll to make it a slider).
Another creative party idea is to create a seafood “charcuterie” board with an assortment of various cured and preserved seafood options, along with other accompaniments such as cheese, pickles, crostini or crackers, jams, and spreads.
Charcuterie traditionally refers to a method of preparing meats that have been preserved through methods such as through curing, smoking, or fermenting. It encompasses many types of meats as well as textures or consistencies, from sliced meats to sausages to pates, mousses, and terrines. An assortment of such options are typically arranged on a serving board, alongside other accoutrements. Take a look at our blog post on how to create your own charcuterie board!
A recent trend in the culinary world has been to combine seafood with these traditional charcuterie methods, nicknamed “seacuterie.” Seafood charcuterie may include the standard favorites such as smoked salmon or lox, ceviche, or recent favorite, poke. However there are numerous chefs getting fancy with creations like “salmon pastrami,” seafood sausages and confits, and smoked fish spreads.
For many restaurants, this is a modern and affordable alternative to raw bars or seafood towers of lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams, and scallops. Seacuterie boards allow adventurous eaters to enjoy a wide variety of flavors and textures and also account for the popular shareable/small plate trend that many people prefer.
Do It Yourself
Try out this new sea-to-table trend by pairing your favorite hot seafood appetizers from the list above with some easy “seacuterie” options like smoked salmon, crab dip, shrimp cocktail, or seafood salads of lobster, shrimp, fish, or crab, served with assorted spreads, accompaniments, and crostini made from Martin’s Potato Rolls and Bread. Arrange the hot appetizers and seacuterie on a platter or cutting board and let your party guests make up their own combinations of flavors.
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