It’s Christmas, Outer Banks Seafood Style

 In Food, Holiday, Seafood

I’m throwing caution to the wind this Christmas. I’m not going with a turkey, and there will be no ham or congealed cranberry blob with the can’s ribs embossed in the jellied mass. That was always on Mama Hawthorne’s table, never on mine, thank you very much. This season the Hawthornes will be celebrating the best of what the Outer Banks has to offer – our seafood. 

I’m not going all the way with the Italian Festa dei sette pesci (Feast of the Seven Fishes). Instead, the Hawthornes’ Christmas meal will consist of a triumvirate of fruita di mare (fruit of the sea). I’ll have an appetizer (Oysters Hawthorne), a soup (shrimp bisque), and an entrée (marinated tuna and oshitashi). 

It is a known fact that the Hawthornes love their oysters. We go through four or five bushels a season and I fix them all sorts of ways. Here’s one of our favorites –Oysters Hawthorne. Some of you may call this blasphemy, but I’ve been known to go rogue and add a dash or two of Texas Pete to my oysters. I live dangerously.

My next contribution to our Christmas meal is soupe de poisson. That’s fish soup to you and me. More specifically, I’m making bisque de crevettes, and that would be shrimp bisque. Seafood bisque refers to a puréed soup enhanced by cream with either lobster or shrimp as the principal player in the dish. The addition of shrimp stock made from shrimp shells and heads enrich my bisque.

Our entrée is marinated tuna on a bed of oshitashi. I experienced the oshitashi (spinach salad) at a Japanese restaurant in Nashville and knew it would eventually make its way to the Hawthorne table. The tuna steaks are the perfect pairing with the oshitashi.

This Christmas, forget the traditional turkey, ham, stuffing, and casseroles, and have an Outer Banks Christmas with unforgettable seafood instead. It may become your new tradition too! ♦


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