Although the seafood tower at trendy restaurants tends to be the center of attention, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not too difficult to recreate this mouthwatering attraction in your own kitchen. Getting ready for your guests is all about picking out the right supplies and putting them together flawlessly. You’re always welcome to explore our seafood menu at Kiki on The River. Our seafood restaurant in Miami, Florida, features modern Greek cuisine on the Miami River that could serve as an inspiration for your own seafood creations.
What To Do About The Tower Part?
You need a tower before you can begin. Invest in a rustic, multi-tiered tower (preferably metal) to store your ice and shellfish, so they look like they came straight from your favorite high-end seafood restaurant. Most shellfish for your seafood platter will fit in a dish that is deep enough to hold the ice, such as a tiered dessert stand, fruit rack or stack of cake stands.
You can also try using serving bowls to create your unique seafood tower. Use a large and shallow bowl as the tower’s foundation. To make a second tier, fill a smaller, shallow bowl or cake stand with a rimmed edge with ice. To catch the dripping water from the melted ice easy way to create vanity bitcoin addresses, you can do so by placing some cloth at the bottom of the bowl or setting the table with a tablecloth.
After you have assembled your seafood tower, give it a good cleaning and fill each tier with ice. For optimal results, use flaked ice. The flaked ice keeps the seafood in place while you build your tower.
Start the Tower With The Shrimp
As fresh as you can get them, make sure to buy large shrimp to steam cook, that are not only meaty but can also be used to ring the base of your tower. In general, plan for about eight shrimp per person. They provide the abundance to the tower to ensure everyone gets their fill.
Shrimp only needs to be cooked for a few minutes over boiling water, so be careful. Bring them to a chill before laying them on the ice of your seafood tower.
Continue With Mussels & Oysters
You’re not limited to a shrimp and lobster tower only. Actually, mussels and oysters provide a great visual and taste for your seafood tower selection.
Whole raw mussels and oysters can be purchased at many upscale supermarkets today. Although some seafood markets sell both already shucked, you’ll probably have to do it at home, which can be a challenge until you get the hang of it. Shucked and served raw, mussels and oysters can be nestled within a shrimp halo or given their own tier within the tower.
We advise you to try NZ Mussels, known to be sweet & rich in flavor. Wellfleet oysters, with their harmonious blend of salty and sweet flavors, are considered the top choice for a seafood platter.
Top Everything Off With Lobster & King Crab
A shrimp and lobster tower is all you really need for your seafood platter, with the option to add mussels and oysters if you want to. However, the key to success here is not to overcook the lobster. Actually, the entire process is quite simple. Fill a wok with one inch of water and put it over high heat. When the water starts simmering, toss in the lobster and cover the wok. In the case of one 1/4-lb lobster, it’s necessary to steam it for about eight minutes. And that’s essentially it.
In terms of placement, steamed lobsters deserve the top tier of the shrimp and lobster tower. Of course, when discussing the top of the seafood platter, we can’t forget the king crab either. Sprucing everything up with delicious crab legs and knuckles will add the much-appreciated fancy flare to your seafood tower creation.
The Condiments Should Be Simple
Some cooking magazines insist that a seafood tower should be served with burnt miso aioli, tarragon butter, or some other over-the-top dipping sauce that takes forever to make. There’s absolutely no need to do that.
If we’re being reasonable, all you really need is a cocktail sauce and some lemon wedges for garnish. You can also have some melted butter and even crème fraiche if you so desire. But anything more complicated will only overpower the delicate seafood flavor.
If you’re looking for more options, dill is also an excellent garnish option. And apart from the classic cocktail sauce, you can’t forget about some Mignonette sauce for the oysters.
Other Tips to Consider When Preparing A Seafood Tower
To ensure that both the presentation and execution of your seafood tower are perfect and the guests are all happy, satiated, and amazed, keep in mind the following tips:
Get the Best Quality Seafood Available
You want the seafood that you serve to your guests to be delicious and fresh. This is especially important if you are providing a large amount of seafood. If possible, visit a fishmonger in your area rather than a grocery store, even if some supermarkets do sell fresh shellfish at their seafood counters.
Prepare Food on the Day of the Serving
Shellfish such as mussels and oysters can be bought a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it’s time to prepare them. This allows you to make the most out of your shopping time. Mussels can be prepared and refrigerated several hours before serving, but you will need to set aside some time to shuck the oysters just before building the tower.
Chill the Tower Tiers Before Serving
If you give the tower tiers at least an hour or two to chill in the fridge, it will be easier to prevent the ice from melting too quickly while you are putting it all together.
Prepare the Right Tools
The lobster meat can be removed ahead of time, but some guests enjoy a little hands-on activity, so be sure to provide seafood picks and crackers for them to use. Don’t forget about plenty of napkins, either.
Steps for the Assembly
- Start by taking the tower tiers from the fridge and distributing the flaked ice evenly onto them.
- The bottom tier is reserved for the shrimp and shellfish (if you want to use the latter).
- The second or the top tier (depending on whether you’re working with three or two tiers in total) is where the rest of the shellfish should go, with a lobster in the center.
- If you have a third tier as the top of the tower, use it for cocktail sauce and garnish.
- If you don’t have a third tier, simply serve the sauce, lemon wedges, and other condiments on the side.
- Champagne or a light sparkling wine will go well with the seafood tower.
Seafood does not retain its freshness for long after being served. The components of your tower that aren’t covered by ice will start to go bad around 30 minutes after you take them out of the fridge. So, eat it as soon as it’s served, savor each bite, and don’t store any for later.
If you’re looking to taste fresh and delicious seafood in authentic Greek cuisine presentations, don’t hesitate to book a table at Kiki On The River, the best seafood restaurant on the Miami River.