You may think seafood is a summer food, but that’s where you’re wrong. There are plenty of fish and shellfish recipes that are cozy enough for chilly evenings, and we’re highlighting the best of them. No matter your palate, you’ll find a recipe on this list that appeals to you. And they’re all a great break from the heavy comfort food we typically enjoy during winter.
1. Cod with Pancetta, Artichokes, and Olives
The beauty of this cod dish from Fine Cooking is that your fish, sauce, and side dish all cook in one skillet. It’s an easy recipe with an easy clean-up, but it still yields a sophisticated fish dish that will impress even the best cooks. We particularly like the salty bit from the pancetta and olives.
- 4 (6-ounce) pieces fresh cod loin fillet
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes in juice
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ½ cup large green olives, pitted and halved
Directions: Pat the cod dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp and golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat behind in the pan.
Add the fish to the skillet and cook until slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and transfer to a plate, seared side up. Add the onion, thyme, and pepper flakes to the skillet; cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the pan is almost dry, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, artichokes, and olives. Simmer, stirring occasionally, to meld the flavors, about 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and nestle the fish into the sauce, keeping the seared side exposed. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the pancetta, divide among rimmed plates or wide, shallow bowls, and serve.
2. Fish Stew
When you need a break from beef, this seafood stew from Food Network is the ticket. It yields a perfectly flavored stew starring a white fish of your choosing, and it serves 4 as a main course. You’ll make a dark roux, similar to when cooking gumbo, for this delicious dish. Though this step takes a fair bit of attention, the results are well worth the effort.
- 1 ½ pounds redfish fillets or other firm white fish, such as snapper, drum, or grouper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Rustic Rub
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onions
- ½ cup chopped bell peppers
- 2 mild green chilies or banana peppers, sliced lengthwise in half and seeded
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes or 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1¾ cup chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions: Cut the fish fillets into 3-inch pieces. Season with 1 tablespoon of the rub. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Make a roux by combining the oil and flour in a large cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir slowly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the roux becomes dark brown, the color of chocolate. Add the celery, onions, bell peppers, and chilies.
Cook, stirring often, for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the bay leaves and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon rub. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until a thin oil film appears on the surface. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking.
Increase the heat to medium, add the broth, salt, and cayenne and cook for about 15 minutes. Lay the fish in the mixture and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add the green onions and parsley. Remove the bay leaves. Serve hot.
3. Oven-Roasted Salmon With Parsnips, Potatoes, and Peas
Salmon is great during winter, too, and this recipe from Epicurious proves it. The salmon stars alongside parsnips, peas, and potatoes to make for a delicious and nutritious dinner. Even better, this recipe is easy to prepare.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces parsnips, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⅓ cups frozen green peas, unthawed
- 4 (6-ounce, 1-inch-thick) skinless salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- Lemon wedges
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Mix potatoes, parsnips and oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Roast vegetables until beginning to soften, about 20 minutes. Turn vegetables over; continue to roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Remove vegetables from oven. Push vegetables together in center of baking sheet, forming base for salmon. Sprinkle peas over. Arrange salmon atop vegetables. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roast until fish is just opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Transfer fish and vegetables to plates. Garnish with lemon.
4. Winter Salad with Sautéed Bay Scallops
If you need to detox from heavy winter food, try this salad from Bon Appétit. After allowing your scallops to marinate, you’ll simply sauté them in a skillet for just a few minutes, place them atop the salad, then serve. This recipe feeds 8 as an appetizer, but it’s equally as nice for a light dinner or lunch.
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1½ tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large oranges
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound bay scallops
- 10 cups (lightly packed) mixed bitter greens
- 16 grape tomatoes, halved
Directions: Whisk orange juice and 1½ tablespoons vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in ¼ cup oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cut, peel and pith from oranges; cut between membranes to release segments.
Whisk 1 tablespoon oil, orange peel, lime peel, lime juice, pepper, and 2 teaspoons vinegar in bowl for marinade. Mix scallops into marinade. Let stand 10 minutes.
Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops with marinade and sauté until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season scallops to taste with salt.
Toss orange segments, mixed greens, and tomatoes in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Place scallops atop salads.
5. Shrimp and Angel Hair Fra Diavolo
If you’re craving a carbohydrate-rich dinner, this pasta with sautéed shrimp from Cooking Channel is the way to go. While the presentation might look complicated, it really comes down to boiling the pasta, sautéing the shrimp, and concocting the sauce. Best of all, you’ll be chowing down in just over 30 minutes.
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1½ cups tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set aside.
Set a 14-inch saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until lightly caramelized and wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the crushed red pepper and saute briefly; then add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook until the sauce has reduced by about ½, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the pasta and the reserved cooking water to the pan, and cook until the pasta is heated through and coated with the sauce, 3 minutes. Season the pasta with the salt, and garnish with the parsley. Toss to combine, and serve with the grated cheese, if using and desired.