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Sunny2's avatar

Have any suggestions for an affordable seafood menu?

Asked by Sunny2 (18758points) December 17th, 2012

Having suggested a seafood theme for a family get together, how can we make it affordable, seafood being at a premium.
I’ve considered paella and cioppino. Any other suggestions?

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar


It can be fiddled with and can use sub. fish, shellfish and mollusks.

A slightly simpler version.

JLeslie's avatar

Paella is a great idea. I just out sausage, shrimp, and chicken in mine, we are not keen on most shellfish. I add roasted red peppers and peas.

Costco has some really good mini small crab cakes. I assume they come frozen, a friend of mine served them at a party, and they were very good. They are abut the size of a quarter, perfect bite size.

A lot of the seafood in my market is not much more expensive than a good cut of beef. I like salmon, cod and tilapia. A large piece of salmon can make a great presentation. I put the fish in an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet or pan (best if it has at least a small side) some salt and dill on the fish, then put tons of already slightly salted tomato slices on and around the fish, a little fress squeezed lemon and back. So easy, and makes a nice presentation. Tilapia and cod I do the same minus the dill.

I make tuna croquettes that are half potato, they are fairly inexpensive. Peel and boil a large baking potato (cut into think chunks to cook eavenly) and then mash (nothing added). Saute a small amount of diced tomato and onion, little salt. Add a can of chunk white drained tuna to the pan and continue to cook for a minute, breaking apart the tuna well. Then add all that to the potato and mix well. Let mixture cool in fridge. Then form into patties and dip in italian breadcrumbs and fry to cook. My MIL likes to make them the shape of cylinders, I just do simple patties.

downtide's avatar

Fishcakes. You can bulk out the fish with mashed potato, and add some spices to liven it up a bit. Some chilli and lemongrass; turn them into Thai fishcakes. Make them bite-sized and serve with sweet chilli dip.

Some fishmongers and supermarkets sell smoked salmon trimmings which are cheap, and just as tasty as the proper fillets.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Poach some tilapia or cod in Sprite or Diet Sprite, drain, let it cool in the fridge overnight in a tightly covered dish, flake it and use it to make a mock crab salad.

Sunny2's avatar

@gailcalled I’d forgotten about bouillabaisse. Thanks for reminding me.
@JLeslie I’ll check out CostCo. I’ve been thinking about salmon and the little crab cakes sound just right. Thanks.
@downtide Thai fish cakes! My daughter might like to play with that idea. Thanks.
@WestRiverrat Interesting idea. I like it.Thanks.

Coloma's avatar

You can find large bags of frozen shrimp in many outlet type stores, like Costco, or Grocery Outlets. Extra large or many sizes and they are delicious sauteed with garlic butter or in a gumbo, or salad, of serve with cocktail sauce with french bread on the side.
You can also make some delicious crab/salmon cakes for a reasonable price.

wundayatta's avatar

You could feed the entire family for what you might spend on two of you at a fancy restaurant. I would not skimp on ingredients for a family feast. You’ll remember the gathering for a lifetime. Get whatever seafood you want. Swordfish. Chilean Seabass. Lobster. Whatever. Or get scallops or clams or mussels or crab, too. I bet $50 worth of fish at Whole Foods would be plenty. Of course, if you went somewhere else, you could probably get twice as much fish for the dollar, so you’d only need to spend $25. Probably.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I had to look paella and cioppino up. They both look yummy and would help stretch premium seafood. I agree with @Wundayatta , it won’t be very memorable or much fun with cheap ingredients. You could make your paella and cioppino with crab, lobster, mussels, etc.

Another idea is to do a crab boil. We did this as a family for the 4th of July. We took one of those propane turkey fryers and filled it with salted, seasoned water. Then we filled it with corn cob-etts, new potatoes, crab, shrimp, lobster and sausages. You can find lots of recipes – just Google “Crab Boil.”

flutherother's avatar

I can recommend gumbo. You can make it cheap and serve with rice.

Sunny2's avatar

@Coloma A big bag of frozen shrimp would go far. Thanks.
@wundayatta I understand what you are saying, but finances are such that we have to be frugal. It will still be memorable even if we don’t include lobster. We’re all excellent cooks. Thanks for your comments.
@Skaggfacemutt Crab boil sounds good. I hadn’t considered that. Thank you.
@flutherother Gumbo is great. Thanks for the suggestion.

RockerChick14's avatar

Frozen shrimp or fish sticks.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Oh, yum.

Sunny2's avatar

@RockerChick14 You’re not a cook, are you. To each his own.
@gailcalled yeah.

RockerChick14's avatar

@Sunny2 – I am good at cooking but I’m not good at cooking seafood so that’s all I got. @gailcalled- nice sarcasm.

Sunny2's avatar

@RockerChick14 It’s okay. I know a number of people who never cook at all and wondered if you were one of them. I appreciate your input and didn’t mean to be critical.

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