For a fresh, festive and healthy holiday weekend with your household, stack your summertime menu with crowd-pleasing dishes that feature wild-caught seafood. The following recipes take their cues from classic appetizers, hot dishes, and sides that you’d expect to enjoy at any holiday gathering, so no one is going to wonder where the land-based proteins went.
Here are 7 classic summer recipes made with wild-caught seafood.
If you have spot prawns in your freezer, this summer is a great opportunity to use them for an elevated shrimp cocktail — after all, your gathering is likely smaller this year than it ever has been, so why not serve the best shrimp you can get your hands on for this appetizer? Compared to your average shrimp, these prawns are going to be sweeter and will have a more robust bite.
To use them in a shrimp cocktail, you’ll simply poach them with their shells on in a salted pot of water, throw them in an ice bath after to stop the cooking process, then chill for about an hour; this recipe from Ricardo Cuisine will walk you through this step by step. And don’t you dare serve these gems with store-bought cocktail sauce. Make your own; it can be as simple as this cocktail sauce from Mark Bittman, made with ketchup, butter, vinegar and horseradish.
A Creamy Dip
We originally included this Food & Wine recipe for a baked white fish dip in our blog post about dips, spreads, and schmears. But we’re spotlighting it again because it’s the perfect dish to serve as a decadent appetizer fit for a holiday weekend. Served hot, you can set it next to a bowl of bagel chips, a crudite platter or crackers. Since the recipe does require you to spend a little extra effort assembling it, make most of it ahead of time so that all you need to do on the Fourth is coat it with breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown.
If you don’t mind setting up a frying station in your kitchen, your gathering will be psyched when they see you bringing out these “sea dogs” out on a serving tray. Bon Appetit’s recipe for fried cod strips on a hot dog bun isn’t trying to replicate a conventional hot dog in flavor or texture, but it does get pretty close in terms of how easy they are to enjoy. Make sure you begin preparing these the night before the big day so that you get better batter coverage on the strips of cod when you’re ready to lower them into your fryer.
For this recipe from Guy Turland, meaty halibut is spiced up with a freshly ground spice rub. Aromatic coriander and cardamom and toasted up first, then layered in with the savory notes of smoked paprika and garlic powder to create a truly mouth-watering flavor profile for these hefty fish sliders. Serve with a fennel-cabbage slaw and a briny caper tartar sauce made with greek yogurt. Since you’ll be grilling the halibut, you might want to pop on over to our blog post for some seafood grilling tips.
These sweet and spicy salmon kebabs from The Washington Post are actually roasted in the oven, rather than cooked up on a grill, making it a favorite recipe that you can make whether you have access to outdoor space or not this year. The skewers are layered with chunks of salmon that have been marinated in hoisin, honey and sriracha, then loaded up with scallions and oranges. For the finishing touch, sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds.
Food & Wine’s recipe for a smoked salmon macaroni salad is as elegant as it is easy to make. The only thing you’ll need to cook are the macaroni noodles. Everything else — spinach, slivers of lemon, mayo, goat cheese and of course the smoked salmon — simply gets stirred in until combined into a fresh and flavorful pasta salad that anyone in your household can enjoy.
Another smoked salmon side, this potato salad from Serious Eats is composed of small, waxy potatoes, sour cream, lemon juice and a handful of fresh herbs, all tossed together with flecks of salty salmon. (Smoked salmon is versatile as a side since it’s not necessarily something people expect to have hot or cold upon serving.) Feel free to make this salad a day or two ahead of time — but honestly, it’s so simple to make that you can throw it together at the last minute.