Go all-out if you’re staying in this New Year’s Eve by capping off the year with a feast from the sea. Enjoying an epic, multicourse meal of wild-caught seafood for New Year’s Eve is an unforgettable way to pass the time until the clock strikes midnight.
We already know what our New Year’s Eve menu is going to look like. Here’s a full feast of New Year seafood recipes that has us counting down the days until this year’s midnight countdown.
Appetizer: A Seafood Charcuterie
Whether you’re ringing in the New Year with a dear friend or with a table full of your closest loved ones, there’s always room for appetizers.
Pregame for your meal with a charcuterie spread that features a mouthwatering sampling of wild-caught seafood. Even if your charcuterie consists of just two different items, it can really pique your appetite.
We suggest contrasting flavors and temperatures for maximum impact and visual interest, since we eat first with our eyes: Try pairing up ribbons of cold-smoked salmon with a homemade blinis and a warm, creamy cod dip, or set out a handful of steamed crab legs with drawn butter alongside a classic salmon mousse and selection of crispy crackers.
First Course: Cioppino
Throw everyone in the pool for this warm seafood stew from Epicurious. Scallops, spot prawns, pollock quick cuts, and crab legs… use what you’ve got on hand to build up lovely, complex flavors in what is ultimately a very simple dish to make. The seafood options are entirely interchangeable, as are the broths that you can use as the base of your cioppino. Try using fish stock, spot prawn stock, or a blend of the two to keep things totally pescatarian.
If you’re making this cioppino as a first course, you can cut the recipe in half so that you can serve smaller portions to start out your New Year’s Eve Meal. Otherwise, make the full amount if you’d like to have cioppino leftover for New Year’s Day: If this is the case, it helps to store the cooked seafood separately so that you can heat up the broth first. Then just drop in your seafood at the end until it’s just warmed through to keep the seafood from getting overcooked.
Side Dish: Slow-Roasted Salmon and Winter Citrus Salad
Juicy, ripe citrus is just in season come December, put this seasonality to use with this gorgeous salad recipe from Samin Nosrat. The salad pairs up slow-cooked salmon with a simple but effective combination of fat, acid, and sweet — macerated onions, avocado, and your choice of citrus fruits. It’s also an effective palate cleanser for a feast.
To adapt this recipe as a side dish, adjust the measurements so that each serving amounts to approximately 3 ounces of salmon so that there’s still plenty of room for a main course. Another major change you’ll need to make is to significantly reduce cook time: Since you’re cooking individual fillets of wild salmon rather than a full side, your fish will be perfectly cooked around the 20-minute mark.
Main Dish #1: Seafood Lasagne
Your first main option is comfort food reimagined with wild-caught seafood. A hearty seafood lasagna makes for a decadent, memorable meal (and excellent New Year’s Day leftovers). This recipe from the BBC is a straightforward lasagna made with bechamel and cheese, layered with your choice of seafood. Feel free to pick one protein to work with, or try combining crab meat, a white fish, and salmon as a medley; change it up from the mix that you used in your cioppino, so that you’re getting a little bit of everything in this feast.
Main Dish #2: Halibut Steak
Perfectly pan-seared halibut steak is a great pièce de résistance of a New Year’s Eve feast. This golden, succulent steak also happens to be ridiculously easy to make, as long as you don’t skip any prep steps; we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide to pan-searing your halibut steaks. And don’t forget to serve the steaks up with a sauce or two that will complement this mild and meaty catch.
Need a few pointers on what to serve with your fish recipes for New Year’s Eve?
We’ve got a few favorite pairing suggestions lined up for you that will bring out the best qualities of your fish dishes, whether you’re craving something sparkling or flat. We even have some perfect pairings for crab, if that’s going to be a centerpiece for your feast.
And don’t shy away from enjoying red wine with seafood! There are plenty of options that work really nicely with fish and shellfish.