A luxurious twist on the classic seafood salad to brighten your holiday meals, plus other delicious news

by Chef Peter Botros

Magnificent Match
The season calls for a toast! A bright, citrus-forward white wine is a seafood salad’s ideal sidekick. This French Sancerre from Raimbault Noel et Jean-Luc is an old-vine varietal made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes that’s bursting with rich orchard fruit and zesty lemon, balanced by fresh herbs and minerals.

SEAFOOD SOIRÉE
SPECIAL SECRET SEAFOOD SALAD

Ingredients:
Calamari (squid) Pulpo (octopus) Shrimp Clams (Littleneck) Mussels Lobster Crab Red bell pepper Yellow bell pepper Celery Red onion Fresh basil Lemon Carrot Limoncello vinaigrette White Wine

Directions: finely dice red and yellow bell peppers, celery, and red onion. Poach all seafood in a quick court bouillon, consisting of sliced lemon, bay leaf, celery, carrot, onion, peppercorn, and a few splashes of white wine. Pro tip: shock the seafood in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. 30-60 minutes before serving, toss all the seafood, diced vegetables, limoncello vinaigrette, and fresh basil together and put back in the refrigerator.

FOR THE LIMONCELLO VINAIGRETTE:
½ cup Limoncello
1 cup White balsamic
2 cups EVOO
1 small shallot
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp Sichuan chili powder
Zest of 6 lemons

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the EVOO. Once fully incorporated, slowly drizzle the EVOO into the blender on medium to high speed. Once fully emulsified, stop the blender. Be careful not to over blend!

GRATE TO MEET YOU
Adding a pinch of citrus zest brings a punch of flavor and color to a variety of dishes, from pasta to seafood. I find that the absolute best tool for zesting citrus fruits is a micro plane. One of the biggest mistakes home cooks (and even some professionals) make is zesting too deeply into the citrus. The second layer of citrus skin (the white part), called the pith, is quite bitter and does not carry any of the oils that give citrus zest its potent flavor and aroma. A microplane is more precise than a traditional zester and keeps the pith out of your dishes when zesting.