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Christmas eve all seafood dinner favorites?

davmar77 Dec 8, 2010 10:36 AM

just curious about everyone's favorite choices for christmas eve. i know the amounts differ from 7 to 10. we did 10 a few years ago which was working well until the calamari hit the floor. OOPS!

we've done:

calamari
tuna carpaccio
shrimp cocktail
shrimp scampi
salmon different ways
crab cakes
lobster tails
baked clams
mussells marinara
tilapia

and others i can't recall right now. what are your favorites?

  1. l
    Lenox637 Dec 20, 2011 07:03 PM

    Whole salt encrusted fish. Anything from Branzino to Red Snapper

    1. arashall Dec 20, 2011 09:03 AM

      We don't do 7, but we make shrimp risotto with plenty of parmesan for Christmas Eve. A big pot of comfort food, that everyone enjoys.

      1. c
        cheesemaestro Dec 20, 2011 08:39 AM

        It'll be just the two of us on Christmas eve, so we're going to have a scaled-down Feast of the Three Fishes. On this year's menu:

        Fried smelts
        Crab cakes
        Either shrimp risotto or linguini with clam sauce--I'm still deciding on which one.

        No one has mentioned baccala, which is probably the one fish that most families in Southern Italy always included. Personally, I find it rather bland and chewy.

        9 Replies
        1. re: cheesemaestro
          PoppiYYZ Dec 20, 2011 11:25 AM

          Mario B made a salt cod / potato spread on toasted garlic bread for an Italian Christmas Food Network special that still haunts me. Haven't been able to find a recipe to try it.

          1. re: PoppiYYZ
            biondanonima Dec 20, 2011 01:54 PM

            That sounds delicious - I wonder if this is similar: http://www.marthastewart.com/315147/marios-baccala-ravioli

            It's a ravioli filled with salt cod and potato - I would assume if you just spread the filling on bread, it might be the same idea - it's a good starting point, at least. I love the picture on the link, too - Mario looks so young!

            ETA: If the above recipe doesn't suit you, here's one for Bacalhau Espiritual - a Portuguese preparation of salt cod that is DIVINE spread on crusty bread. No potatoes, though - it uses a bechamel sauce to bind. http://www.ehow.com/how_4557207_make-...

            1. re: PoppiYYZ
              biondanonima Dec 20, 2011 05:05 PM

              Or this one, by Lidia Bastianich, for baccala mantecato: http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/li...

              1. re: biondanonima
                c
                cheesemaestro Dec 20, 2011 06:15 PM

                Whipping or pureeing the baccala obviously gets rid of the chewiness. I wonder, though, if one could detect much difference between using salt cod and fresh cod in these recipes. Baccala, of course, dates from the time when people didn't have refrigeration. Salting the fish preserved it for later use. Nowadays, it seems a little absurd to buy cod that has been salted and dried only to take it home and reverse the process by soaking it for a day or two. I suppose that people continue to do it for the sake of tradition.

                1. re: cheesemaestro
                  biondanonima Dec 20, 2011 06:33 PM

                  IMO soaked salt cod has an entirely different texture than fresh cod - the salt denatures the proteins and creates something completely new. I agree that it can be chewy when left whole, but I really enjoy blended/whipped preparations like the recipes I linked - and I don't think that using fresh cod would work the same way.

                  1. re: biondanonima
                    c
                    cheesemaestro Dec 21, 2011 07:09 AM

                    I'll have to give one of these recipes a try. The last time I had baccala, it was as a whole piece of fish in a tomato-based sauce, which didn't make me want to have it again.

                  2. re: cheesemaestro
                    CCSPRINGS Dec 20, 2011 06:58 PM

                    Difference between salt and fresh cod is night and day texture wise in a blended recipe. I love baccala. My Southern Italian grandmother made it into a cold salad with onions, green olives and celery. She always said lots of lemon.

                    For those not fond of baccala, make sure you get the best grade possible. My cousin's husband, who is not Italian, used to say what are we going to do with this stuff that looks like a bucket of shingles?

                    There is a book titled 'Cod' which is a fascinating read on the subject.

                    1. re: CCSPRINGS
                      biondanonima Dec 20, 2011 07:22 PM

                      "Bucket of shingles" made me giggle!

                  3. re: biondanonima
                    PoppiYYZ Dec 21, 2011 08:13 AM

                    Thanks biondanonima ! Lidia's looks closest.

                    I had the Christmas show tapped and watched the section (I've kept that grainy VCR tape for years). Although the technique isn't completely clear, Mario soaked the salt cod in water, then poach in milk with potatoe and garlic, strained, pureed with a little olive oil, added black pepper, then served the smooth puree in a bowl with toasted bread on the side. There are chunks of green in the spread (maybe green onions).

                    I'm adding this to this years Feast ! Thanks for taking the time to post the links.

                    PS The show also has a seafood salad : sliced cooked shrimp and calamari (plus maybe octopus and cubes of firm fish), thin sliced raw vegetables (carrot, celery, green onion, peppers), simple parsley basil lemon garlic vinaigrette, and served individually in a boston lettuce leaf at room temperature. Also looks amazing.

                    Gotta stop watching the show...

              2. m
                mpalmer6c Dec 19, 2011 11:01 PM

                I'm in the Bay Area, so it has to
                be crab louis.

                1. PoppiYYZ Dec 19, 2011 07:28 PM

                  Bump.

                  My in-laws do the Polish Christmas Eve dinner (salmon, perogies, pickled herring, sauer kraut, etc - which is absolutely fantastic), but in recent years we've been enjoying a long leisurely Christmas day "Feast of the Seven Fishes". This may be a deviation from the tradition, but it has become a favorite.

                  This year :
                  smoked mackerel dip and crab "pizza" (both cream cheese dips) to nibble while cooking,
                  romano bean/tuna plus a salmon/halibut antipasto (both fantastic with some olives and cheese),
                  scallops in champagne butter sauce topped with a thin crisp potato pancake for warm appetizer,
                  garlic shrimp (aglio olio) over risotto with crusty bread and a lightly dressed salad.

                  A very fun, family day. Can't wait !

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                    opinionatedchef Dec 20, 2011 10:19 PM

                    crab cakes made with blue crab. heaven.

                  2. Barbara76137 Dec 24, 2010 09:36 AM

                    If I make Cioppino and use seven different types of seafood does that cover the "seven fishes" obligation? :) I'm alone so I thought I'd make a big pot of the Cioppino stock and then add the seafood to just enough stock for one portion.

                    1. bushwickgirl Dec 9, 2010 03:13 AM

                      Here's a link from last year, with more favorites:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6713...

                      1. wenster Dec 8, 2010 11:53 AM

                        We are HUGE Christmas seafood eaters... there's always some steamed crab to be found, usually (since it's winter) in the form of king crab, and definitely mussels, but usually done with white wine & herbs. Mmmm. I love it!

                        1. m
                          mollygirl Dec 8, 2010 11:21 AM

                          We are Italian and it is The Feast of the Seven Fishes. So, seven and only seven! Last year it was: (pic attached)

                          Baked Roughy
                          Oysters on the half shell
                          shrimp fried, and boiled
                          fried scallop
                          grilled salmon
                          seared ahi
                          baked clams

                           
                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mollygirl
                            coll Dec 8, 2010 11:52 AM

                            It's also the Feast of the 12 fishes, for the apostles, I've heard tell: So I just make as much as I want. At least seven though.

                          2. c
                            CocoaNut Dec 8, 2010 10:53 AM

                            Paella!

                            1. coll Dec 8, 2010 10:44 AM

                              Maine lobster, fried flounder and local scallops are a few I don't see on your list. Maybe a fra diablo sauce and some frutti di mare salad beforehand. I was just going over my list a few minutes ago......

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: coll
                                davmar77 Dec 8, 2010 10:50 AM

                                we have done scallops. forgot about that. here's an amazing recipe but it does require some attention. we don't have calvados so we subbed using 43. worked great.

                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                1. re: davmar77
                                  coll Dec 8, 2010 10:59 AM

                                  I might just make this on the 24th. I usually make scallops with butter,olive oil and lemon juice, and some seasonings, and serve over mesclun. This sounds like a nice change, and I have Calvados on hand. The scallops are so delicious this time of year, I've been eating them raw!

                                  Another thing but I don't make every year, is whole calamari, stuffed with scallops, lobster and shrimp and cooked for 20 minutes in red sauce. It's a meal in itself.

                                  1. re: coll
                                    davmar77 Dec 8, 2010 11:07 AM

                                    this goes well with the scallops and it's pretty easy. we don't always do the fried sage leaves though. we didn't feel it added enough but give it a try.

                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                    1. re: davmar77
                                      coll Dec 8, 2010 11:50 AM

                                      I always like thyme when seafood is involved in any way. My husband's family doesn't really do vegetables at Christmas, besides salad and maybe some finocchio. And the sauce of course.

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