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Summertime is the perfect time for a backyard seafood party.
Not only is seafood in season in much of the U.S., which means that it’s more budget-friendly than ever, but it’s also a fun way to celebrate summer.
Invite a few friends over.
In most cases, you’ll want to keep the guest list within reason. Even when seafood is most budget friendly, the cost can add up fast. So a smaller party is best. Also, this isn’t a party for your seafood-allergic or seafood-hating friends, so bear in mind that when inviting people.
When choosing the day of your party, be sure it’s one where you have plenty of time to organize and shop. Seafood is best purchased on the day you plan to serve it, so you'll need time to buy and prepare everything.
Choose a couple seafood recipes.
You’ll want 3-4 options on your seafood menu, so that it really feels like a seafood bash. Grilling is a great option, since it won’t require you to heat up the kitchen -- or leave the party.
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Clams on the Grill
Grilled Fish Tacos
Grilled Lemon Garlic Halibut Steaks
Grilled Shrimp and Scallop Kabobs
Grilled Seafood Packets with Lemon-Chive Butter
Brown Sugar Grilled Salmon
Grilled Creole Snapper
You can also serve seafood salads like Seafood Salad Tartlets, Neptune Pasta Salad or Shrimp and Mango Salad. A simple appetizer like Shrimp Cocktail works too.
Also, you’ll want to serve a green salad and summer veggie like corn on the cob. Coleslaw and potato salad are good options too!
Go classic with decorations.
The best decorations for a summer seafood bash are classic picnic ones. Look at local party stores for paper goods and supplement them with tiki torches filled with citronella oil (great for keeping those mosquitoes away!).
If you’re serving a shellfish like clams or lobster, set out a couple colorful buckets (I love metal ones!) for guests to discard their shells in.
After the party, clean up right away.
Ok. This is a given. But when the party is over, immediately clean up and discard any leftover shells, paper plates, etc. Your yard and kitchen will thank you.
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.