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Fish and Seafood dishes for the holidays!

Including Holiday tips, tricks, recipes, and cooking techniques from Catch 35.

Brrrrr it’s cold outside in Naperville and Chicago, so let’s heat up the kitchen with some fish and seafood dishes for the holidays.

Whether you are looking for something lighter to eat or it’s a family tradition, fish and seafood is a great choice for fulfilling both healthy and decadent tastes.

So what is your favorite seafood of the holiday season? Every Christmas Eve, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve of my childhood has always included shrimp cocktail.

Shrimp cocktail is luxurious yet simple. You need to start off with high quality shrimp. Catch 35 uses only the highest quality shrimp available: Jumbo White Florida Shrimp. These shrimp are WILD caught off the coast of Florida by American fisherman

Holiday Tip: Choose raw shrimp and try to clean and devein yourself.

Check for Freshness

Preparing raw shrimp:

Trick for deveining shrimp:

Place a paper towel underneath the area you are prepping the shrimp and simply wipe the vein off the tip of your knife on the towel. This will save you some time, especially if you preparing for big crowd!

Cooking technique: Poach in simmering seasoned water (a couple of tablespoons of Old Bay) only until the shrimp turn pink. When they are shaped like a “C” they are “cooked”. Don’t let them get shaped like an “O”, this is “overcooked. Over cooking will cause its texture to become rubbery.

The cocktail sauce is a very important part! Catch 35 seafood and steak restaurant in Naperville has a kick’ in cocktail sauce that best pairs with Wild White Florida Shrimp. You can always order some to go, that way you have homemade cocktail sauce without the stress of making it yourself!


Tis the Season to celebrate and for some reason Oysters seem to hit that seafood sweet spot during the holiday season!

Holiday Tip: Oysters should always be closed and smell of the fresh ocean never fishy. DO NOT EAT if they are opened before cooking, it may not be a very Merry Christmas if you do!

Trick for cooking oysters: Simply steam until the shells open. This makes it easier to crack open and then stuff with your favorite toppings.

Cooking Technique: Once the oysters are stuffed, put them in then oven and broil until toppings are browned & crisp (2-3 minutes should do)

Oyster Topping Recipe courtesy of Catch 35:

Makes 12

~1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (day old bread works great)

~3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

~1 tablespoon of fresh Italian herbs (parsley, rosemary, anise)

~1-2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

~Lemon sliced into wedges

Melt butter and mix with breadcrumbs, herbs, and garlic. Place on opened oysters w/ their juices and broil for 2-3 minutes until browned. Serve with lemon wedges for a hit of acid. Enjoy!


Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell

Craving oysters but don’t want to hassle with prepping, stuffing, and handling. Join us at Catch 35, seafood and premium steaks in Naperville offers ½ off Oysters on the half shell every Sunday, Monday & Tuesday from 4-6pm. Our Chef’s selection changes daily; currently we source our oysters from Connecticut, Canada, Maine, and Washington State.

It’s been a family tradition to devour large amounts of mussels during the holiday season. Usually, we stuff them with a salty crunchy breadcrumb stuffing and bake them for some time (because someone usually forgets they are in the oven) until their garlicky smell fills up the kitchen.

Holiday Tip: Don’t stuff your mussels this year! Try cooking them in a flavorful broth instead. (Trust me! It’s easier and tastier and will become a new family tradition)

Trick for cooking mussels: Rinse and scrub well under cold water. These little guys sit in sand! Discard any open or broken shells.

Cooking technique: Determine what kind of broth you want. So many to choose from such as a red marinara, spicy salsa, white wine & garlic, lemongrass & jalapeno….I can just keep going. Choose your favorite flavors and come up with your own sauce. Add the mussels to your broth and toss to combine. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes until the mussels open. Enjoy!


Broth Recipe:

White wine and garlic sauce; Serves up to 4 lbs of mussels

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 minced shallot

2 minced garlic cloves

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

½ cup of dry white wine

1 lemon, juiced

1 cup of chicken broth

Heat up all ingredients in a stockpot. Once combined and fragrant then add mussels.

Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and a pinch of parsley and steam for 1 more minute. Serve with garlic bread and Devour!



Blue Hill Bay mussels


Taking the broth route is healthier and still satisfying delicious!

Catch 35 serves Blue Hill bay mussels with either a garlic, white wine, & butter broth similar to one above or the more exotic flavored Thai lemongrass broth & jalapeno sauce. So don’t worry if you overcook your mussels, Catch 35 will tackle your craving for them any day of the week for lunch or dinner in Naperville and/or Chicago.

‘Tis the Season of giving and Catch 35 wants to give back to you with these tips, tricks, techniques, and recipes that you use when cooking fish and seafood this holiday season.


From the Catch 35 Family to yours:

May your stockings be filled

May your family be healthy and happy

….and May your seafood turn out perfectly this Holiday Season!

See you soon.