Comfort Food from the Sea

Get your comfort-food fix from an unexpected source-the sea! Creamy casseroles, warm chowders, and flaky pot pies get a seafood makeover to keep you full and cozy on chilly nights.

Crab Pot Pie
Photo: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick























Ingredients
2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
3 cups chopped leeks
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups peeled, diced russet potatoes
2 (8-oz.) bottles clam juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained and picked
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts
1 large egg, beaten

Preparation
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add next 3 ingredeints; cook 5 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add potatoes and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until butter is golden brown and fragrant. Stir browned butter, peas, and crabmeat into vegetable mixture.

Unroll pie crusts on work surface; invert 6 (10-oz.) ramekins or custard cups onto pie crusts. Cut around edges of ramekins with the tip of a sharp knife to make circles. Spoon crab mixture evenly into ramekins. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush pie crust circle edges with egg wash; place 1 circle, egg wash side down, over crab mixture in each ramekin, pressing down to seal to 4 slits in each crust to vent. Place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Related: 10 Creative Crab Cakes

Lobster Mac and Cheese























Ingredients
16 oz. corkscrew pasta
6 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup minced fresh chives
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 lb. coarsely chopped cooked lobster meat
2 cups oyster crackers, crushed

Preparation
Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Place 4 Tbsp. melted butter in a saucepot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour in milk; bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened.

Remove from heat, and whisk in cheeses and next 3 ingredients. Stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Fold in pasta and lobster. Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish.

Combine crushed crackers and remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until crust is crisp and sauce bubbles. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Related: 26 Favorite Shrimp Recipes

Salmon Chowder with Chives
Photo: Becky Luigart-StaynerPhoto: Becky Luigart-Stayner























Ingredients
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
8 cups chicken broth
8 oz. red potatoes, cubed
8 oz. Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives, divided
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Preparation
Sauté shallot in butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until tender. Whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Add potatoes and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Add salmon; simmer 5 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and potatoes are tender.

Discard bay leaf. Stir in cream, 2 Tbsp. chives, vinegar, and next 3 ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (Do not boil.) Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. chives.

Related: 13 Terrific Seafood Soups

Lemony Tuna Noodle Casserole
Photo: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick























Ingredients
12 oz. white egg noodles
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large leeks, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, at room temperature
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Gruyere cheese
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
4 (5- to 5.5-oz.) cans oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preparation
Cook egg noodles until al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, covered, 7 minutes or until tender but not browned. Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute. Pour in milk; bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 3 minutes or until sauce is smooth and thickened.

Remove from heat, and whisk in cheese and next 3 ingredients. Fold in tuna and egg noodles. Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish.

Combing olive oil, garlic, and panko; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Related: 15 Easy One-Dish Meals

Shrimp-and-Crab Gumbo Over GritsPhoto: Jennifer DavickPhoto: Jennifer Davick

























Ingredients
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 (12-oz.) package andouille sausages, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 cups fish stock or chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 lb. fresh okra, thinly sliced
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 cup quick-cooking or stone-ground grits
1 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined if desired
1/2 lb. lump crabmeat
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. filé powder, optional
Hot sauce, optional

Preparation
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Add remaining oil to drippings in pot to equal 1/4 cup. Whisk in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, 20 minutes or until mixture is dark reddish-brown.

Stir in onion and next 4 ingredients, and sauté over medium heat 8 minutes or until softened. Stir in stock and next 8 ingredients. Bring a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook grits according to package directions. Cover, and keep warm.

Stir in sausage and shrimp, and cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are done. Add crab, and simmer until heated. Remove bay leaves, and stir in parsley and, if desired, filé powder. Serve gumbo over grits. Season with hot sauce, if desired.

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