We're on the home stretch for the holidays now. Our older boys will soon be home from college and there's lots of menus to plan. They both have birthdays in December, we have our big annual Christmas Eve open house to plan for and then out of town guests coming right after Christmas. There's a couple of favorites that I plan to include in the Christmas Eve buffet - Sicilian Arancine, Pine Nut Croccante and these wonderful Sparkling Cranberries that are so beautiful to put out in a big bowl. Please look to the bottom of this post for some additional holiday links that I thought you might like. They are worth checking out.
I've also been knitting and just finished these incredible Fiddlehead Mittens. Best. Mittens. Ever. I lined them in purple mohair and they're incredibly thick. They were so much fun to make. I just had to show them to you:
With the holidays approaching and so much entertaining to do, I thought I'd share this easy seafood casserole with you. I like things that I can just pop into the oven and free up the stove. This dish is best served over rice or pasta - it has a lot of nice broth that you can sop up with some crusty bread, too. You can change up the seafood that you use in the recipe - you can use salmon or chunks of lobster. Leftovers keep well.
Holiday Seafood Casserole
for a printable recipe, click here
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 1/2 cup chopped fennel
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 cup Sherry
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 pound medium shrimp (or large shrimp, cut in half)
- 12 ounces firm white fish (I used halibut), cut into one inch pieces
- 10 ounces bay scallops (or sea scallops, cut in half)
- 1 9-ounce box of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter together. Add the leeks, fennel, salt and pepper and saute, over medium heat for about 5 or 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic and saute one minute more. Transfer to a large bowl.
Make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook the flour for a couple of minutes and add the bouillon cube, whisking til it dissolves. Slowly add in the milk, whisking. Add the nutmeg, sea salt and pepper. Whisk until sauce is creamy and thick. Add the Sherry. Turn off heat and add the cheese.
Add the sauce to the vegetables in the bowl and mix well together. Add the seafood and artichoke and mix gently. Pour into a baking dish (3-quart is a good size).
Mix the chopped parsley, bread crumbs and cheese together in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes. Broil the top for about one minute, until it is golden brown.
Serve over rice or noodles. There's lots of broth, so serve some nice crusty bread with it. Leftovers keep well in the fridge and it firms up quite a bit the next day.
Here are some holiday goodies from a few blogs that I like to read: :-)
Pistachio Meringues from Chocolate Shavings
Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares from Once Upon a Chef
Red Velvet Fudge from I Am Baker
Nutella Chip Cookies from Ivory Hut
Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags from Whisker Graphics
And you really have to check out the incredible cookie and cupcakes ideas from Glorious Treats