From fresh shrimp to lobster tails to crab legs, seafood is a go-to finger food for the holidays. Here are three suggestions from Brossman’s Meat Market about how to dress up this year’s catch:
Boiled Shrimp with Caraway
1 to 2 pounds shrimp (thawed)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 can beer
Add salt, celery salt and caraway seeds to a large pot of boiling water. Add beer – half-can or whole, depending on your tastes.
Add thawed shrimp to boiling water. Leave uncovered.
After cooking, drain, rinse and chill.
6 minutes for jumbo shrimp.
3 minutes for medium shrimp
Tip: Beer keeps shrimp juicy and tender. So, if you like them a little dry, add less beer.
Lobster Tails with Butter and Paprika
1 to 2 pounds lobster tails
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put thawed lobster on rack in a shallow pan, meat side up. Fill pan with ½-inch of water. Brush lobster with melted butter. Lightly season with paprika.
Cook time: 25 minutes for one pound; 45 minutes for two pounds.
Tip: Cook until meat is white, flakey and slightly browned.
Crab Legs with Butter and Garlic
1 pound crab legs
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put crab, shell side down, in pan with 1/8-inch water. Baste with butter and garlic.
Cook time: 10 minutes
Tip: Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before baking.
No time to decorate? No worries. Let the food provide the munchies and the décor with these tips from Staci Joers. Here are two recipes for festive appetizers:
New Year’s Eve Noisemaker
(aka: Wontons with Crab Dip)
24 won-ton wrappers
¼ cup butter
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon garlic salt
Crab Dip filling:
8 ounces cream cheese -- at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seafood seasoning
6 ounces canned crab meat
Preheat oven to 375. Roll up 24 one-inch balls of tin foil and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place a won-ton wrapper on a work surface with one corner facing you; roll into a cone. Cut the open end with a scissors until edge is even. Place a foil ball in opening and place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining won-tons.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the dried dill and garlic salt. Remove the horns from the oven and brush with the butter mixture. Place horns on a wire rack to cool completely. (Can be made several days in advance and store in an airtight container)
In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with the sour cream, juice of the lemon half and Old Bay until light and fluffy. Fold in the crab gently by hand taking care not to break up the crab too much.
Transfer crab mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a plain coupler and pipe mixture into the horns.
Tips: Each noisemaker should be about 2 inches long. One tablespoon of crab dip should fill a horn. Plan on four or five noisemakers per person.
Champagne Cocktail (makes one)
1 sugar cube
3 dashes angostura bitters
1 ounce brandy
3 ounces champagne – brut
1 slice orange -- for garnish
1 maraschino cherry, whole
Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add the dashes of bitters to saturate the sugar cube. Pour in the brandy and top off with the champagne. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.
Tip: If you have the time, pour out the cherry juice and fill the jar with brandy and let set for a week. Now, you have spiked cherries.
Cheddar Cheese Straws
¾ cup unsalted butter
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, cheese, salt and cayenne until blended. Gradually add the flour until well-combined.
Use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe 2" long segments onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You will yield about 72 straws, give or take. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on baking rack. These can be stored for 1 week in an airtight container or they also freeze very well.
Tip: For wafers instead of straws: Combine ingredients as directed; chill dough 2 hours. Shape dough into 2 (8-inch-long) logs; wrap each in plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours. Cut each log into 1/4-inch-thick slices; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Whether you make the straws or the wafers, these store can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week. They even freeze well.
These recipes were originally published on Patch in December 2011.