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For This Year's Holiday Cocktail Party, Try Seafood

A Sitka Salmon Cocktail Party

    Photo by Grace Parisi

    Holiday season calls for at least one cocktail party. The good news is that they don’t actually require giant feats of culinary maneuvering, and with a Sitka Seafood Market Holiday Box, it’s even easier. Our boxes come with a hand-picked selection of seafood for occasions exactly like these, leaving you free to relax and enjoy your evening.

    The recipes below are easy and require very little active time. Use your downtime to pick up some roasted nuts, dried fruit, cheese, salumis, and cornichons — and all the fancy crackers you can get your hands on (we like Norwegian crispbread and toasted baguette slices). Cut into pears, pomegranates, or figs and make sure you’ve got lots — and we do mean lots! — of bubbly.

    Break out the nice glassware, brush up on your mixology, put together a chill playlist ahead of time and play it at a reasonable volume — people are here to talk to each other. Keep the lighting cozy, and once you’ve assembled and served the cocktail fixings, let it all run on autopilot. You, too, are allowed to have fun.

    1. Brown-Butter Salmon Rillettes

    You will be the star of any party you bring this to. You could enter a complete stranger and leave the most popular person there. Our rillettes are so delicious, in fact, it was difficult to photograph, as our test kitchen assistants kept stealing tastes between shots. It’s that good — we guarantee it.

    Our take on the classic rillettes uses butter-basted king salmon and, if you have it, hot smoked salmon. It gets better the longer it sits in the fridge, so prepare it ahead for convenience (if you can make it last). Eat it with a spoon, or a shovel for all we care. Just make sure to eat it.

    2. Smoked Sablefish Toasts with Horseradish Cream

    This elegant canapé strikes a perfect balance between rich and light. Sablefish, which flakes beautifully when smoked, is among the most delicate and flavorful seafood that nature has to offer. Add a rich and punchy horseradish cream and you’ve got a delightful mix of textures that tastes as fancy as it looks, but takes less than 15 minutes to assemble. Just enough time to pop a cork and fill your glasses.

    3. Gravlax Toasts with Shallot-Caper Relish

    This gravlax is another stunner, so don’t balk at its 25-hour cook time; all but an hour of it is spent curing in your fridge. This is a great canapé to make ahead of time when you’ve got a free moment. That way, your precious few hours before the party can be spent tidying, buying last-minute beverages, or decorating. Whether served on toast, over bagels laden with cream cheese, or eaten by hand, this recipe will earn you legendary host status.