of a Mongress

by Laura Foley Ramsden

Foley Family Thanksgiving Traditions

A Few Of Our Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Happy Thanksgiving Week,

We have much to be thankful for at Foley Fish starting with our terrific team in both plants and our incredible collection of customers. We are also thankful for the hard working harvesters on the water daily to bring their incredible seafood to market. Thank you!

People often ask what we serve at Thanksgiving - do we eat Turkey or Cod? Yes, we eat turkey. Turkey and stuffing, cranberry, potatoes and pie, lots of pie. My Mom makes great pie with homemade crust. We also eat a bunch of seafood to start. I thought I would share our favorite seafood starters with you.

The first decision we need to make is what are we doing for Thanksgiving vs. Christmas so each holiday feels distinct and special. The one thing we do duplicate is oysters. We shuck a lot of oysters over the holidays. My favorite are the Wellfleet oysters and Peter's are the Barnstables though we both love trying new oysters. Just last week we had a new grower in from Rhode Island who has a beautiful creamier oyster we will begin carrying next week - the Ninigret Nectars. As a rule we don't embellish our seafood very much preferring to let guests taste the true flavor. We will fill a Foley Fish tin with our special flake ice and nestle the shucked oysters on top. DO AHEAD TIP: We will often preshuck the oysters an hour ahead of time and put the top shell back on to prevent them from dehydrating. We cover the tin, refrigerate and then pull out when it is time to serve. That way the shucker can enjoy cocktail hour, too! Add lemons, maybe some cocktail sauce or tabasco, and you are ready to serve.

We also typically serve Foley Smoked Salmon. Our smoked salmon is smoked using our fresh Bay of Fundy salmon so it has a higher fat content which you can see in the marbling. Also, because it is smoked fresh, (most others are smoked using a frozen salmon that is thawed, smoked and refrozen), our salmon has a buttery texture to complement the flavor. Our salmon features a mild smoke so you know you are eating salmon rather than getting a mouthful of smokiness. Again, we will serve this simply with party pumpernickel, lemon wedges, capers and some creme fraiche. Our daughters will enjoy it the following morning with avocado toast!

Since Nantucket Bay Scallops are in season, we do a super simple pan sear of these sugar sweet delights. They cook in about 90 seconds so they are quick and easy. While they are an expensive indulgence, they are quite rich so a half a pound is plenty for 6 people for an appetizer. There are about 60-80 scallops per pound so a half a pound would allow for 5 or more scallops per person. Get your pan nice and hot (preheating pan is key!), add clarified butter or 1 T butter, 1 T oil. Sear for 90 seconds and serve piping hot with toothpicks.

Finally, we throw it back with a creamy, yummy, indulgent spinach and crab dip. We update the classic by using fresh Jonah Crab which has a lighter flavor than the canned, pasteurized product. Local Jonah Crab are harvested along with lobsters in New England waters. We got to see some boats unload this summer on Cape Cod. The dip is a little sinful but oh, so delicious. This is another good make ahead option. And it makes enough to have leftovers for the next day while watching football. By the way, there is a big game in Ann Arbor this weekend! GO BLUE

Hot Crab, Spinach and Artichoke Dip

(serves 10-12) 6 ounces Jonah crabmeat                                            

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

2 14 ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt        

5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese                         

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 small onion, finely chopped                     

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice                                                  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to casserole dish and bake until bubbly, approximately 35 minutes.  Serve hot with tortilla chips or crackers.

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