Food & Drink

Today, You Learn to Make a Seafood Tower

Someone’s Really Going to Appreciate This

By Kevin Gray ·
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Lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters... these are the makings of a good time. Put them all together in some sort of vertical display, and they are the makings of a seafood tower—something that will come in handy during this occasion-heavy time of year. The Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, maybe some weird Groundhog Day party... all good options for going a little over the top.

Because seafood towers don’t have to hide behind restaurant doors. You can make them for yourself, at home. So to that end, we enlisted chef Nick Grosenbach of Ocean Prime in New York (hey, restaurants are still the experts here) for some do-it-yourself tips that’ll have you creating your own crustacean-laden tower in no time.

First up: decide how many people you’re feeding. Nick says that a half pound of crab legs will likely serve about three people, while a whole lobster will accommodate four. Then you’ll want to allot at least one oyster and two shrimp per person. Do the math, and onward we go.

Now you need to find the stuff. Our helpful chef suggests sourcing the above ingredients from a local fishmonger, buying what’s in season and keeping things as fresh as possible—you might even get your lobsters and crabs alive, if you don’t mind dispatching them yourself.

Once you’ve got everything you need, you can begin arranging your tower. (Oh, yeah, by now, you should already have a tower. You can find those online and at restaurant supply stores.) Start by filling your trays with crushed ice. Place the lobster and crab legs on the bottom tier, and work upward to display your shrimp and other shellfish, keeping like foods together. And all throughout, place little ramekins of sauce and garnishes, plus any necessary tools for opening the things up.

For extra specifics, you can check out Chef Nick’s detailed instructions. Follow along, and you’ll soon be the proud owner of a fully stocked seafood tower. One that you can break out on Super Bowl Sunday—cold seafood is a nice foil to all the heavy, salty fare like nachos and wings—or for a particularly elaborate date. One with good wine, some soft music, maybe a fireplace. Yeah, it’s hard to see that move going wrong.

You know, some people say that oysters are an aphrodisiac...

But not you. You should not say that.

Kevin Gray lives in Texas. He likes whiskey, weekends and hammocks, often at the same time.

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