Summer Seafood Celebration
July 26, 2018 | Category: Crafts & DIY | Food & Wine
CREATING THE GATHERING
If at all possible, this celebration should take place outdoors on a warm summer evening. For a fancy gathering, use a crisp white tablecloth. For a more casual dinner, cover the table with rolls of white butcher paper. Wicker or straw chargers under white dinner plates give the table a beachy look that pairs well with the nautical knots tied around the napkins. Low, wide floral centerpieces look lovely on the table and don’t get in the way of friendly conversation. White flowers are a nice touch on top of the white table linens. Homemade citronella candles will add a so glow and refreshing fragrance, and will help keep pesky summer bugs away from your guests.
SEAFOOD SALAD WITH SUMMER HERBS
During the summer months, seafood salad is served all across Scandinavia as a side dish, main dish, smorgasbord staple, and open-faced sandwich topping. This recipe comes from Peter Sproul, director of culinary arts at the Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University. Peter’s niece, Eva Jorgensen of Sycamore Street Press, has been my good friend since college. Her family enjoys this seafood salad often at family gatherings, where she says it is always a hit!
Makes 8 to 10 Servings
1 1⁄2 pounds cooked crab meat
1 pound cooked shrimp
3 cups finely chopped celery (from about 8 stalks celery)
2 bunches of green onions, finely chopped (white and light-green parts only)
1 cup loosely packed fresh herbs such as dill, chervil, thyme, basil, oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon
1 small lemon, juiced and zested
1 1⁄2 cups mayonnaise
2⁄3 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
3 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon table salt Freshly ground black pepper
Lettuce leaves or sliced bread, for serving (optional)
- Cut the crab meat and shrimp into 1-inch pieces. (If you get very small shrimp and flaked crab meat, you can skip this step.)
- In a large bowl, combine the crab meat, shrimp, celery, and green onions. Finely chop the herbs, add them to the bowl, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, mayonnaise, sour cream, Old Bay Seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Add the mayonnaise mixture to the crab mixture, stir well to combine, cover, and chill for 4 hours to let the flavors blend. Serve on a bed of le uce leaves or on top of sliced bread.
HANGING PAPER FAN DECORATIONS
These pleated paper fans are a nod to the brightly colored Chinese fans and lanterns that are hung at seafood feasts during summers in Scandinavia. The store-bought fans are usually bright yellow, red, and blue, with happy faces printed on them. These homemade ones, with their ocean-inspired color palette, are a simpler, more elegant version. Make several in different shades of blue paper, and hang them from a patio or umbrella for a pop of color.
Materials & Tools:
3 pieces of matching patterned or solid blue paper (not card stock), either 81⁄2 by 11 or
12 by 12 inches
Bone folder (optional)
Glue stick or double-sided tape
Scissors Baker’s twine or string
- Accordion-fold each sheet of paper. Use the ruler to make sure each fold is 1 inch wide. It doesn’t matter if you fold widthwise or lengthwise, as long as you fold each piece of paper the same way. You can use a bone folder to make your creases nice and sharp. If you don’t have a bone folder, the edge of a ruler will work just as well.
- When all sheets of paper are pleated, use the glue or double-sided tape to tape them together one after the other. Depending on how you folded your paper, you might have to tape two front sides together or tape one piece of paper slightly overlapping the next.
- Use the scissors to cut a 36-inch length of twine or string. While holding the bunch of pleated paper together, tie the string around the middle of the paper. Use the ruler to make sure you have the string centered. Tie a nice, tight knot, and do not trim the strings.
- Pull the top-less and bottom-less edges of the paper fans down so that they meet in the middle, and tape or glue the two edges together. Repeat for the top-right and bottom-right edges as well. Before you tape the last two sections of pleated paper together, sandwich the strings or twine pieces between them so that they run from the center out to the edge. Tape the two paper sections together with the strings between them.
- Use the strings to hang your fan.
Find other Summer Seafood Celebration recipes and projects in Scandinavian Gatherings:
Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce
Dill Muffin Dinner Rolls
Blueberry Custard Pie (Finnish Mustikkapiirakka)
Mason Jar Citronella Candles
Nautical Rope Napkin Knots
Photos by Charity Burggraff