OMG!!! I have been dying to create my very own Chilled Seafood Tower for so long now. It is definitely one of my favorites to order at restaurants and can range in price from $75 to $200. Here’s what I did…cut the cost by half…made it super simple to steam the seafood…made it look like a million dollars! You can do this at home…I promise…it is much easier than you think. This tower will feed at least four as an appetizer…or two for a romantic dinner at home!
Local to Charlotte? Head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co and grab your super fresh seafood. The seafood I used to create this tower will cost about $55. If you do not have a tower, just display on a large platter(s) filled with ice. If you want your very own tower…click here for the one used! Also…I steamed all of the seafood…except for the oysters…I left them raw…in a steamer…click here to get your own! Check out my Amazon page for less expensive steamer options. You can also use a bamboo steamer or pot…you just need something large enough to fit the crab legs!
One of the things I love best about this recipe is that you can steam everything ahead of time and chill. Actually…you want the seafood to be cold. If you are serving this for a party or for a gathering…prepare all of the seafood that morning and chill.
And the sauces…drawn butter…cocktail sauce with horseradish…and a beautiful mignonette for the oysters! I got lucky enough to find mini Tabasco bottles at World Market…you can also order them on Amazon by clicking here!
Grab your steamer…again…you can use an electric steamer, bamboo steamer, or even a deep pan with a lid. Fill your steamer with enough water to just to the fill line…leave enough room to add in the clam juice and lemon. Toss your clams and mussels into the steaming tray and steam until opened. Discard any clams or mussels that are open prior to steaming or any that do not open after steaming. Remove as they open and allow to cool on a plate in the fridge.
Check your water line after steaming the clams and mussels…if it is low…add more water or clam juice. To prepare your lobster tails…cut the top of the tail shell with kitchen shears and lift out the tail meat…place on top of shell…remove the “poop” vein, as well. Click here for a complete, step-by-step tutorial. Place your lobster tails in the steamer and steam for just about 8 minutes…you will know they are done when the meat looks opaque. Remove and chill in fridge.
Next…toss in the snow and king crab legs. They should steam in about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and chill.
Lastly…add in the shrimp to the steamer…shrimp will only take a few minutes. As soon as they turn opaque…remove and chill.
You can prepare two of the sauces as the seafood is steaming. For the cocktail sauce…just place the cocktail sauce in a small bowl and top with the horseradish. For the mignonette, combine the shallots, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Melt the butter just prior to serving. I found the cutest, little bowls for housing the sauces at World Market…click here!
Now that all of the seafood has had time to chill…just a few more steps before building. Tear off the top shell of all of your clams and mussels…release the meat from the shell and use one side of each shell for display. If you so wish, you can also use kitchen shears to cut the snow and king crab.
If you are using a tower…fill all levels with crushed ice and start layering your seafood. You can do like I did or make your own creation! Be sure to leave enough room for the tiny bowls of sauce and fresh lemon wedges (which I forgot in mine…ugh)! ENJOY!!!