OMG!!! I have been dying to create my very own Chilled Seafood Tower for so long now. It is definitely one of my favorite appetizers to order at restaurants. Most can range in price from $75 to well over $200, depending on what type of seafood is included. Let me show you how to prepare one at home and cut the cost by half, or maybe even more. Best of all, it will look like a million dollars! You can do this at home. Promise, it is much easier than you think. This tower will feed at least four people as an appetizer. Two, if you are enjoying the Seafood Tower as a romantic dinner at home!
Local to Charlotte? Head on over to The Carolina Meat & Fish Co and grab your super fresh seafood.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A CHILLED SEAFOOD TOWER
The seafood I used to create this tower will cost approximately $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. Leave them raw like I did, or you can steam them up, as well. For me, I prefer my oysters raw. Click here to get your own steamer. Additionally, check out my Amazon page for less expensive steamer options. You can also use a bamboo steamer or pot. Keep in mind, 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 until just before the guests arrive.
Don’t forget the sauces. Drawn butter, cocktail sauce with horseradish and a beautiful mignonette for the oysters should do perfectly. Additionally, find mini Tabasco bottles like I did at World Market. Or, you can also order them on Amazon by clicking here!
HOW TO PREPARE A CHILLED SEAFOOD TOWER
CLAMS AND MUSSELS
Grab your steamer, or use one of the alternatives mentioned above. Fill your steamer with enough water to just to the fill line. Leave enough room to add in the clam juice and lemon. Clean the clams and mussels. Toss your clams and mussels into the steaming tray and steam until opened. Discard any clams or mussels that are open prior to steaming. Additionally, discard 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 eight minutes. You will know they are done when the meat turns opaque and the shells are a bright red. Remove and chill in fridge.
Next, toss the snow and king crab legs into the steamer. For these, I like to add about a half bottle of beer to the steaming liquid. The crab should steam in about six to eight minutes. Remove and chill.
Lastly, sprinkle the shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning and add the to the steamer. Shrimp will only take a few minutes. As soon as they turn opaque, remove and chill.
TO FINISH AND SERVE THE CHILLED SEAFOOD TOWER
Prepare the sauces, except for the drawn butter, as the seafood is steaming. For the cocktail sauce, you can make your own, or just place bottled cocktail sauce in a small bowl and top with horseradish. For the mignonette, combine the shallots, vinegar, kosher salt and black pepper. Mix well. Just prior to serving, melt the butter. Also, I found the cutest, little wooden 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 the clams and mussels. Release the meat from the shell and use one side of each shell for display. Additionally, use kitchen shears to cut the snow and/or king crab down the side. This will make it easier for you and your guests to enjoy.
If you are using a tower, fill all levels with crushed ice. 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)! If you so desire, add a small offering of caviar. ENJOY my version of this amazing Chilled Seafood Tower!
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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him. He is known as one of the best skate sharpeners in the world!
Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!
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