We are so excited to share this Seafood Salad recipe given to us by our Godchild Lydia who is quite the cook! She makes a delicious dish of pasta - as we can attest!
She learned from the best - and this recipe is very special to Lydia and her family - as it was a tradition created with their Nana Lydia especially at Christmas time. I am sure this recipe is treasured along with the memories of making it with their Nana who is no longer here.... although I am sure she is guiding Lydia from above with her cooking instructions.
This recipe is a tradition in many households for Christmas Eve dinner - and now Lydia is sharing their family recipe with us - for anyone that feels ambitious this holiday season! It is a recipe that in our opinion should be made with family to create beautiful memories and keep family traditions strong.
TIPS: Read entire recipe before you start.
If using frozen seafood- make sure it is completely defrosted before you start. Allowing the seafood to sit out for about 30 minutes prior to cooking is a good idea so the flesh is not shocked by boiling water.
- 1 pkg imitation crab chunks or three crab legs, steamed and chopped
- 1 pkg imitation lobster chunks or three lobster tails, steamed and chopped
- 2 cuttlefish
- 4 lbs. of Calamari - tubes and tentacles, cleaned
- 4 lbs. of Shrimp
- Salt and Pepper
- Vidalia Onion
- Bay Leaves - 6-8
- Fresh flat Italian Parsley - a handful
- One lemon cut in half
- Few stalks of celery
- Green onions - 6 bunches chopped fine - but only use white parts
- Dressing - see all ingredients below
(Season and Stir carries Galician Octopus and Atlantic lobster under sauces and condiments if you want to try your hand at a smaller version of this recipe!)
Sauté the lobster and crab in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of olive oil, garlic (pressed), salt and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes, only until warm and fragrant. Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Fill a large stockpot with water. Add a quartered onion (Vidalia), 6-8 bay leaves, handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, a lemon (cut in half) and a few celery stalks. YOU WILL BOIL ALL THE FISH IN THIS POT.
2 cuttlefish- defrosted and room temperature. When water comes to a boil- add cuttlefish and bring back to a boil. Allow to boil until tender- you should be able to put a fork in and it should slide out easily. Depending in size of the fish, this should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Cut a piece off and taste it- if it’s tender, it’s done. If not, leave it for a few more minutes. Remove (DO NOT DRAIN POT- keep it boiling for the next fish) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to mixing bowl.
4 lbs. calamari (tubes and tentacles) cleaned. When the water is boiling again, add the calamari (tubes and tentacles should be cooked separately as they cook at different times) and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5-10 minutes- until tender. Again- taste it to be sure. Remove and cut into rings (leave tentacles whole unless they are large). Add to mixing bowl.
**** As you cook fish you should add more lemon and parsley to the boiling water, so the flavor is consistent*********
4 lbs. shrimp (shell on, pink shrimp from Argentina are the best). Add shrimp to the boiling water. Allow to boil until cooked. They do not take very long. Remove from water- remove shells and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to mixing bowl. You can use peeled and deveined shrimp, but Nana always said that the flavor is better with the shell!
2 stalks celery- washed. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to cut the outside away so that you have the tender stalk left. Chop into pieces (not too small). Add to mixing bowl.
6 bunches green onions- washed. Chop finely. Only use the white parts-not the green. Add to mixing bowl.
Dressing- should be made a day ahead- the flavor is better this way.
- Lemon juice (Sicilian in the glass jar from Costco, or several fresh lemons, juiced)
- Good Sicilian olive oil (Castelvatrano or Partana)
- Garlic- three bulbs peeled and crushed
- Dry oregano
- Flat parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper
Pour dressing on Fish salad and mix well.
Enjoy! Make sure you send us your fish salad pics if you make this - and comment below on your family's Christmas Eve Traditions as we love to hear from all the fabulous cooks out there!