Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas Eve...And Seven Fish Dishes

     A long time ago, when the girlies were little, we began having seven fish dishes on Christmas Eve. (The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian Catholic tradition, to celebrate the seven sacraments. No, we're not Catholic. Or Italian.) I was experimenting with featuring a country during the Christmas season, so our daughters would get to know other cultures and tradition. What I didn't know was that this particular meal would become our tradition for decades!

The Christmas Goodies blog includes several years' worth of these. Here's one year  to check out. Previous years have longer lists and more recipes than this one. (Life was zany that year. So sue me.)

This year will be different. For one, it's still on Christmas Eve. (We were going to switch it to Christmas Day, to give ourselves a better crack at things. But Daughter #1, for the first time, will be spending the day with Boyfriend at his family's house on Christmas. I am trying not to think about how hard that will be, not to have her here.) 
    For another, Daughter #1's boyfriend, D, is an accomplished cook who runs the kitchen at Interstate, the Denver cafe he owns with his brother. I've tasted his food, and it's outstanding. What's he going to think about my home-cooking-and-general-fooling-around methods?

    He is a nice guy, and probably will be fine with it. Still, I wonder. 

I only have four dishes to do this time around. D has offered to make two, and Daughter #1 wants to contribute one, as well. Also, the girlies asked for their old favorites (#4 and #6), which keeps my experimenting down to a minimum. So here's the current menu:


1. Lobster bisque  (D's contribution)

2. Smoked whitefish  (ditto)

3. Sushi of some kind (Daughter #1's offering)

4. Angels and devils on horseback  (oysters and chicken livers wrapped in bacon. recipe's here)

5. Feeding the Fishes 'concrete'  
        (caviar mixed with sour cream, yogurt and spices: the caviar, plus peppercorns, gives it a gravel pit look. This one's served with crackers -- maybe blini, if I have the time and energy.)
    You get the joke on this, right? Guys that have displeased the Mob, pushed overboard with 'concrete galoshes.' When asked where they are, they're 'feeding the fishes'... 
    Well, I thought it was funny. The dip really DOES look like speckled concrete.

'Ummm...I don't get it.'

6. Shrimp Scampi  (tender shrimp, sauteed in butter and garlic. recipe's here)

7. Teriyaki Salmon fillets   
         (baked with lemon juice and a judicious coating of jarred wasabi teriyaki sauce. Or use this.)

A bottle of wine. Sparkling water, mixed with fruit juice.  Maybe some of the mead, leftover from Thanksgiving.

   Plus some side dishes: rice, green beans (simply cooked with lemon juice and a sprinkle of bacon), clementines, a basic green salad...and frozen strawberries, whizzed in the blender with honey for a slushie effect. You need some accents as 'refreshers,' or all that seafood gets a little cloying.

For dessert:  Hot coffee, Sachertorte (another Brick favorite), a variety of cookies...and some chocolates. (Maybe the Mozartkugeln I snagged at Tuesday Morning. These hazelnut-flavored guys are amazing.)
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     To be eaten slowly and savored, as we celebrate another wonderful year. 

This post also ran on the Christmas Goodies blog...

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