Christmas Eve was a little different this year. I ditched the bouillabaisse and went tropical! Caribbean Christmas Eve seemed like a good idea. I made an amazing seafood and corn chowder with coconut milk.
I used one part crab stock (made from the shells of a Dungeness crab), one part heavy cream and one part coconut milk. Wow, what a fantastic, creamy, lush flavor. I stole a great idea from Ina Garten. I saw her make a lobster and corn chowder. She cut the corn kernels off the cob and set them aside. Then she put the bare corn cobs in the stock with the cream and simmered them for 30 minutes before she removed them. This added a little starch and thickness to the broth, but mainly it added super delicious flavor!
I followed the chowder up with a steamed Dungeness crab and a tasty little salad that I dressed with mango, avocado and lime. I garnished it with some fresh cilantro. What a great refreshing salad to counter the richness of the chowder and the crab.
I made the dressing ahead of time out of cubed mango and avocado. I added lime zest and the juice of 2 limes. I added sea salt and a little vegetable oil. When it was time to serve I simply opened a nice bag of mixed butter lettuces (you can use whatever you like) and topped it with the dressing/relish and garnished it with fresh cilantro. Super easy, super delicious!
For dessert, I served Key Lime pie, a no-brainer for my Caribbean themed menu. I confess, I bought a frozen key lime pie. I am crazy for Edward’s Key Lime Pie from Publix. It was perfect.