Saturday is for Seafood.... of couse!

Joined Jan 2, 2005
Kids are all back at school for a week now. The wife and I have finished our Christmas shopping. Still have to clean some things up prior to company. It has been a while now since I did any catering. I love the slow time, drives some nuts, makes me happy I can screw around in my own kitchen and test and try and see what my wife likes and what does not measure up! Back in October I saw a platter I just had to have at Kohl's department store. It was the last one on the clearance shelf and it just spoke to me. Since it was marked down from $85.00 to $8.50 I figured I deserved it!


Tonight I thought I would break it out and do the dinner for my wife I had planned in my head when I purchased the platter. Seafood! And seafood the way I like it, not covered in some crazed mixture of spices masking everything that great seafood is, not this would be a New England style seafood dinner. Nothing but the seafood and just a little background seasoning. And so I invite you to come along to our Saturday dinner, just the two of us.
And one phone picture to my daughter so she could see what we were eating! (Not to torture her in anyway at all.............honest) So the mise en place is started and laid out at the ready for greater kitchen efficiency.
Seafood is easy to cook! Seafood dinner, not so. Seafood has to all come together at the same time. I am doing a single tier offering so this is not real hard. But I have two cold dishes and 5 hots coming to the platter. This is all about timing. I know, I know, I am at home, who cares? Well I do, and I want it right, besides it is fun to see if you can do it in a home kitchen. So on with the mise en place.



Basically, I have some tinned clams (Snows) to back up my linguini with a little meat, then a little parsley still alive in the garden somehow, minced garlic, lemon juice, green onion, minced garlic (2) and 1/3 cup white wine
(sauvignon blanc). I also have a 1/3 cup of tomato paste infused with basil, oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, and a little red pepper. As well as a small double tablespoon of palm sugar. So with everything prepped and ready to go, the dinner symphony starts to move forward. Whooppppsssssss!
Pouring Prosecco for the wife and I while I cook. We have a bar counter at the kitchen that works well to combine a drink with cooking. Now we are ready to rock-on!

The shrimp are going to be served cold as are the King Crab legs so into the steamer they go!


While they are removed and chilled I set the doubles up for pasta and rice and the rest of the steaming. From this point on it is all about the timing.


Explaining from left to right. The larger steamer is actually a triple set. The pot contains the water up to the pasta insert top, then I place the short steamer insert above the pasta. So the linguini is under the shrimp cooking, but more important it is getting what the shrimp is giving up!
The smaller pot has a steamer insert in the bottom and will handle the crab, and the muscles. The linguini will be removed and drained for sauté while the little neck clams are steaming. Behind the triple pot is a small sauté that will handle the scallops in palm sugar. The forward 10 inch fry will be playing as a sauté for bringing the linguini in with clam sauce to the table.

And you can not see it, but in the oven is a straight side sauté 12 inch waiting to do the Italian Muscles when they are removed from the steamer. The tomatoes and such are roasting at this point. Oh and I built a blueberry pie in the convection oven. So lets look at food!


Getting a little celery and garlic sweated out for the clams and linguini dish. I don't use onion in this dish cause I think it covers up the clams. The garlic mellows, onions... not so much! So they are out of my clam dish.


The muscles are in the heat!


Bringing the palm sugar to temp with the oil in preparation for the scallop searing!


Clams are in the heat, linguini removed and oiled. Looks like this thing with land on the table without coming apart! Yea!! But the Prosecco needs some attention after the lid is on the clams. Then back to the task at hand.


Tasting the tomato sauce I want a little more depth, celery tops and a little red wine will help that out a bit.


Starting to assemble the plate, the shrimp are finished and on the platter. Next up the clam linguini dish.


Sauté fast as I also place the scallops to the heat for the searing. Then onto the platter for dinner!


Then it all happens at once, rice, scallops, little necks, king crab, and the muscles are all ready to plate.  That fast it is done!


A nice baguette to go with the meal and we are eating! Done in the New England style of "dig in" we can finish off this kind of a meal in no time!


If you did not get seconds the first time around, you are late to the game! Last the pie. When we lived in New England we loved to go down east to Maine and get those nice low bush blueberries and so for me blueberry pie goes
well with seafood!


'til we talk again, cook a variety of small dishes for dinner, it is a great time, easy goin' and man is it ever good!

Chef Bob Ballantyne
The Cowboy and The Rose Catering
Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
Joined Dec 23, 2000
Another great culinary adventure with Chef Bob and I for one really appreciate the trouble you take to share this with us.

Looking forward to more.

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a great and healthy New Year.

Mike :roll:
Joined Aug 11, 2000
What fun, I love the play by play.....
just one question, what is the dark food on the dish to the rear left of the seafood platter?

Kohl's....gotta love clearance sales. A couple of years ago I picked up a HUGE glazed platter with a small 4" stem (stand)......originally $100 on sale for $10.....just pleased as punch, I got it up to the checkout and the clerk said, "oh, you're buying the broken birdbath", ok, whatever it is works for me. Used it many many times for large dishes....would have bought several more for the amount of use I get out of this one.
Joined Jan 2, 2005
Mussels almost marinara

Yes when you cater, the clearance rack has a whole new intrigue!:p
Joined Sep 5, 2006
Geez Bob- thanks for all the pics to make our mouths water.... but you should have told us sooner so we could all show up with plates in hand....LOL Seafood here tonite too... but I just did a basic alfredo sauce and added shrimp, bay scallops and clams sauteed in garlic and butter, over farfalle.... (and of course a round of sourdough bread)..... do so love this time of year for the seafood!

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