I don’t get to prepare Christmas eve dinner every year, despite the fact that it’s one of my favorite holidays to prepare and cook for. But this year my ex will be in Spain, so the kids are with me, as will be the rest of my family. How lucky!
One of the reasons I love to cook for Christmas eve is because there is such a freedom of variety of foods that you can prepare. I am Italian. That means I grew up with the tradition of the seven fishes on Christmas eve. My mother and father used to prepare cod, smelts, calamad (squid), clams and spaghetti, flounder or scrod, shrimp and mussels and sometimes sardines. Everything they made though, seemed to revolve around the gravy (sauce) and it all ended up tasting the same to me. So, since I’ve been doing Christmas eve dinner (the last twelve years), I’ve tried to vary each course, as well as add my own little flair here and there.
This year, because so many people are coming at different times, I thought it would be best to make most of the menu based on Hors d’oeuvres. This way, we can “pick” throughout the day, then, a little later we can have a very light, standard dinner. I’ll definitely let y’all know how it goes!
Christmas Eve, 2009
First Course – Hors d’oeuvres
Organic, unpasteurized Manchego el Trigal
Cured, raw Murcia cheese made from fresh goat’s milk
Kalamata and Italian green olives and feta
Sardines, mussels and anchovies
Savory, cold shrimp cocktail a la Nuria
Creamy, fresh smoked trout pate, served with a side of challah bread
Sea scallops wrapped in bacon and drenched in butter and lemon
Crabmeat stuffed mushroom
Roasted Butternut Squash and Lump Crab bisque
Calamari salad with pistachios and dates
Baked filet of flounder in lemon zest,
wild rice with apple walnut, and fresh broccoli
Assorted cookies and cakes a la Mariel & Nuria