Casserole cooking is great for a family gathering and especially for holidays. You can assemble the night before and tuck it away in the fridge for the next day. Then pre-heat the oven an hour before dinner and serve straight from the oven to the table and get to spend time with your guests.
All of your seafood should be raw except for the crab which you will most likely need to buy in a container, pre-cooked and cleaned. Start by portioning your fish into 4 oz strips. Shrimp peeled, lobster poached and cut down the center and the remainder of the shellfish will go on top of the rolled fish once in the casserole dish. Missing an ingredient, use calamari, oysters, whatever you have on hand.
Use an oven proof casserole dish that is pretty enough to go straight to the table. Drizzle the bottom with some EVOO and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs to make a bit of a crust. It makes it easier to divide and serve in portions at the table.
- 1 lb A white fish of your choice – flounder, sole, striped bass (trimmed and/orbutterflied) – with seafood feeds up to four
- Shrimp (half pound)
- Bay scallops (half pound)
- Mussels (half a bushel)
- Clams (one dozen)
- Lobster (2 small lobster split in half is plenty for four people)
- Crab – Long Island blue-crab or high-quality lump crabmeat (small container)
- 2 Carrots
- 1 stalk of Celery
- 1 can of high-quality seasoned canned tomatoes or your favorite sauce
- Your own roasted peppers or high-quality preserved peppers
- Bread crumbs
- Two eggs
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
Optional: basil, chopped, 1 tbs. capers, Parmesan
Finely mince and brown the onion, celery, carrots and bits of the fish trimmings in 2 tbs. oil. Add the parsley, breadcrumbs, minced red pepper, and other optional herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat, cool. Combine the eggs with the mixture into smooth filling. Taste the filling for salt and pepper.
Flatten the fish fillets slightly and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each fillet and roll up. Close with toothpicks and place in casserole dish (and if you don’t have toothpicks, don’t worry, the fish will be weighed down by the shellfish and sauce and the filets won’t open much). Lay seafood on top and cover with tomato sauce and more fresh herbs. Drizzle with more EVOO and bake for one hour at 425. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and serve tableside. Serve with your favorite white wine or a selection from our Italian Christmas Eve recommendations and enjoy.
If you are on the North Fork or visiting a vineyard, stop by The Southold Fish Market on the Main Road.