For a Maritimer, seafood and Christmas go hand in hand. It’s not that we don’t eat fish and seafood the other eleven months of the year; we do! At Christmas time it’s different. We honour the bounty of the sea that surrounds us. For many of us, it is the meal of Christmas eve.
This simple pie is one of my family’s favorites. Simple in technique but precious in the ingredients! Succulent Digby scallops and deep water Bay of Fundy lobster napped in a cheddar cream sauce with dollops of whipped creamed potatoes and sprinkled with grated Sussex cheddar cheese. When I work with seafood, I feel grounded and attached to my ancestors who chose to settle on the rugged shores of the Bay of Fundy. I know that sounds lofty but I get romantic at this time of the year! I wrote the recipe from this house in Uptown Saint John hence the name…
Uptown Saint John Seafood Pie
Preheat oven 400*F
4 russet potatoes, peeled, cut in quarters and placed in a pot of cold water
1.5 lbs fresh lobster meat – you can substitute with jumbo shrimp
1 lb fresh Digby scallops, healed – you can substitute with any scallop you can find
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt – to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Boil potatoes until fork tender then drain and whip with 2 tablespoons of whole milk – make sure the potatoes are creamy which may require more milk but don’t make them mucky
While potatoes are boiling, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
Add chopped peppers and minced garlic, saute for 3 minutes
Add scallops and saute 1 minute then add lobster meat, cream and whole milk
Heat to just before a boil, reduce heat and add 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese and seasoning
Stir until cheese has melted and is well incorporated
Pour mixture into an oven proof casserole
Using a potato scoop, drop dollops of creamed potatoes on top of seafood in any pattern you like…
Sprinkle with remaining grated cheddar cheese
Place in oven and bake until bubbly and browned – about 30 minutes
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
THE LOVE: Scallops cook very quickly so don’t be concerned about the short cooking time in the skillet. They will continue cooking in the oven. Use the freshest seafood that you can find…
Thanks for reading.
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