In partnership with Safeway
This year, staying in on New Year’s Eve is the name of the game. It’s the socially-responsible thing to do, and we’ve been brainstorming ways to elevate the celebration while we wish 2020 adieu. It’s been a year, hasn’t it?
As we were starting to envision what NYE2020 might look like for us, we decided to keep it small and intimate this year, with just me, my wife, my sister and her husband. And their newborn baby, who has yet to try my BBQ. Finger foods are great for a night like NYE, so we began working on a menu.
Of course, I wanted to use my grill for whatever we decided to make, and we came up with a really fun twist on the ever-popular charcuterie board! A Seafood Charcuterie display!
This is somewhere between your traditional charcuterie board and a seafood tower, and came together in no time. We had an idea of what we wanted to make, and then took a trip to the local Safeway near our house to make our idea come to life. The seafood counter provided all the inspiration (and supplies) we needed!
Key Elements of the Board
We kicked off this project by selecting our largest cutting board as the base. I think ours is about 15″ x 20″, so plenty of room for a plethora of seafood to feed four generously.
Then we gathered a variety of small bowls for the sauces and dips we might need. And pulled out all the little forks, spoons and knives we might have needed, along with crab claw crackers.
Shopping at Safeway
Before we left for the store, we pulled up the Safeway app to get an idea of what we might find. And to make a shopping list. That helped us be sure we didn’t miss anything as we explored the seafood counter. And it gave us an idea of the deals that are available right now, so we could take advantage of the just for U® savings and discount program. Because it’s always great to get a discount on gas because you went grocery shopping!
Our local Safeway has an amazing variety of fresh seafood, and this is the perfect time of year to find gourmet and elevated options. The helpful guy behind the counter helped us select the best pieces for our board, and packaged everything up. Our cart filled up with a bunch of great stuff:
- A lobster
- Rock Crab claws
- King Crab claws and legs
- A half-dozen escargot
- Bay scallops
- Cooked shrimp
- A trio of crab cakes
- Two types of smoked salmon (regular and peppered)
- Prepared crab and bacon dip
- A giant stuffed clam
Other Grocery Goodies
In addition to getting nearly one of everything at the seafood counter, we got the rest of the fixings for our charcuterie board at Safeway. This included:
- A bottle of Waterfront Bistro Tartar Sauce
- A bottle of Waterfront Bistro Cocktail Sauce
- A box of Open Nature pita crackers
- A bunch of lemons
- A variety of herbs from the produce department (parsley, cilantro, scallions, chives, tarragon, etc.
- An English cucumber
- A head of butter lettuce
- A stick of Lucerne salted sweet cream butter
We checked out and used our just for U® account number, which saved a bunch on our grocery bill and helped us rack up some fuel points for later. The more we shop at Safeway, the more customized the deals and discounts become.
Building the Board
About an hour before serving, we fired up the Traeger Grill and unwrapped all our purchased ingredients. A few things just needed to defrost or come to room temperature (cooked shrimp, crab dip, smoked salmon) and others needed to be warmed up (crab legs and claws, lobster, etc). And a few things needed to be cooked (scallops, escargot, etc.).
The grill was headed to 350* and we put in the stuff that needed to be cooked first. After about 15 minutes of cooking, we added the crab and lobster to the grill and heated them until warmed through. We skewered the scallops and seared them on cast iron in a little butter.
Arranging the Ingredients
Start by putting the sauces in small bowls with the appropriate utensil. Then use leaves of butter lettuce to gather things on the board. We nestled the hot escargot and the cold shrimp on their own beds of lettuce. Then piled on the crab legs, the whole lobster, and the other ingredients. Move things around to make them fit and look good.
Pile crackers near the smoked salmon and the crab dip. Slice the cucumber very thinly to be used like a cracker. Cut the lemon into wedges and arrange around the board near items that could use a squeeze of citrus. Nestle the sauces and melted butter around the board, and be sure to put a big bowl for shells nearby with the claw crackers.
Serve and Enjoy!
In addition to being a fun and unique way to serve a meal, the amount of dishes when the little celebration was over was limited. Each of us had an appetizer plate for our use, and the board, bowls and utensils were the only things left to wash.
This was a super way to highlight great seafood available at our local grocery store, and gave our little pod party a great chance to enjoy a delicious elevated meal from the comfort of home.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!