I had a bag of mixed seafood in the freezer. Make it two. I had some beer that was still in the bottle and not in my belly. Then I had an idea.
I had actually planned on preparing the seafood and was thinking of making some sort of tomato and white wine type of sauce, maybe with capers like another seafood dish I make, when I made a tragic discovery. I didn’t have the wine. Or the capers. How could I have let this happen? It’s almost as bad as running out of olive oil (thank God I had that!).
The seafood had already been defrosting and was ready to go, even if I wasn’t. A mad search in the refrigerator reminded me that I am no stranger to cooking with beer with other meats, so why not now? I informed the Old Man that one of his pilsners was going to be sacrificed for the greater good, to which he replied “yum, yum”. I took that as “okay, honey, do whatever you want”, and so I did.
Buttery Beer Seafood Bake Recipe
- 2-3 pounds mixed seafood like calamari, shrimp, lump crab or lobster, scallops, pre-cooked clams and/or mussels in or out of the shell (they must be precooked because there won’t be enough time to cook them properly by this method), etc.
- 1/2 cup (one stick) salted butter
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of a lighter colored beer (dark beers like Guiness will be too overbearing for the seafood)
- 1-2 Tbsp. of a mixed seasoning of your choice, use the smaller amount if the mix is very finely ground like Old Bay and the larger amount if it is more chunky (I used one that had dried citrus peels along with other spices, salt, pepper, and some sugar)
- Salt and pepper to taste, but you will not need it if your seasoning mix already has it
If your seafood was frozen, it must be defrosted and rinsed first. Follow the instructions for defrosting on the packaging. Be sure to check your seafood over for any broken bits of shells and remove them. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Heat the butter and oil together until the butter is completely melted. Pour the beer in a bowl or a sauce pot and add in the seasonings. Stir until the seasonings are thoroughly blended in and any salt or sugar in the mix is completely dissolved. Add the butter and olive oil mixture and heat until very hot but not boiling.
Spread your seafood out onto a shallow roasting pan just large enough to hold them. They should not be piled so deep that you can’t see the pieces on the bottom, but they don’t have to be in a single layer, either. Evenly drizzle the beer mixture over all the seafood. Make sure that every piece has gotten some of the liquid on them.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and all the seafood is completely cooked. Transfer the seafood to a platter for serving and then pour the juices from the pan over them again. Serve hot as is, or even over a pasta of your choice, and enjoy!