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Christmas eve all seafood dinner favorites?

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:

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

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

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  1. 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

      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.


      1. re: davmar77

        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

          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.


          1. re: davmar77

            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.

      1. 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

          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. 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. 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. 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

                  crab cakes made with blue crab. heaven.

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

                  1. 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

                      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

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

                        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: biondanonima

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                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

                                  "Bucket of shingles" made me giggle!

                              3. re: biondanonima

                                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. 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. Whole salt encrusted fish. Anything from Branzino to Red Snapper