Christmas dinner our house is usually a no-brainer. Sometimes there’s paella, made with any num- ber of seafood and game species—or rare roast beef. The crisis usually occurs when we plan the meal for Christmas Eve when no one wants to eat too much—and there are likely to be all sorts of folks at the table with special dietary needs. Sea- food is always a safe bet—no glutens, no sugar, and not too many calories.

To me, shrimp cocktails are appetizers. But in a search for something more sub- stantial, I’ve come to appreciate what I call the seafood sundae, a glorious mix of salsa, shrimp, crab and avocado. It’s ll- ing and suitable for a light meal, and with the holiday spirit in mind, it’s red and green! FS

Seafood Sundae (6 servings)

1 pound medium shrimp
2 avocados, cubed
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

For the salsa:

2 poblano peppers, roasted and nely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed, nely chopped
1⁄4 cup bottled chili sauce
1⁄4 cup green olives, chopped 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped yellow onion 2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chopped garlic
Juice of two limes
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Despite the long list of ingredients, this is a simple recipe. It does, however, involve some planning. I like to peel, devein and boil the shrimp well in advance of serving, even the night before. Whether iced or refrigerated, they should be served cold. Commercially available crab can be served right out of the package, as it’s sold cooked.

Assembling the salsa is pretty straightforward. The only cooking involved is roasting the poblano peppers. That can be done in your oven’s broiler, on a gas grill or over the burner of a gas range. Simply roast the whole peppers until the skin scorches, remove from the re, and let rest in a covered bowl for a few minutes to steam. Then, peel and remove the seeds, ribs and charred skin under running water. Once that task is complete, gently mix all the salsa ingredients and cool in the fridge, overnight if necessary.

First published Florida Sportsman December 2017

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