Because most of the seafood we eat comes from Baja California (via Catalina Offshore Products), we decided that it made sense to take our inspiration for this year's Feast of the Seven Fishes from south of the border as well.
Bay Scallop Ceviche
We kept this simple to highlight the lovely sweet flavor of the Bay Scallops - marinated for a few hours in lime juice with onion and Serrano chile and then finished with some cilantro and fresh tomato from the garden (yes, we still have tomatoes growing at the end of December).
Camarones a la Plancha
Cleaned, butterflied and briefly marinated in our "Taco Shop Hot Sauce" before a quick sear on a grill pan. So good.
Bahia Falsa Oysters
This was our first experience with Bahia Falsa oysters. They are a bit on the briny side for me, but I still enjoyed them. We had some raw (with a bit of Taco Shop Hot Sauce) and some lightly grilled in the shell so that they were just warm, but not fully cooked. The oysters paired nicely with a bottle of Allagash Tripel.
Venus Clams and Carlsbad Mussels a la Mexicana
Another simple prep - steamed and then tossed with a sauce of barely cooked tomato, onion, garlic and roasted green chile. The Venus Clams were particularly nice.
Tortitas de Cameron Seco (Dried Shrimp Fritters)
Probably the most complex dish of the night. These fritters are made using an egg-based batter much like the coating on a chile relleno, but with the addition of ground up dried shrimp. They get deep fried, and then simmered in an earthy red chile sauce. Sherry liked these. I was less keen on them.
We finished the meal off with fish and saucy black beans. The fish was two different varieties of grouper. The Cabrilla Grouper pictured above had a meaty, "tastes like chicken" texture.
The Baqueta Grouper was perhaps a bit less photogenic, but far and away our favorite of the two fish. It flaked in big, soft chunks and had a beautiful flavor.
This year our tally was six dishes and eight fishes. Keeping the preparation simple on most of the dishes helped make it a more relaxed affair than some of our past feasts, but no less enjoyable.