Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sadly, no photo's

David and I have always done non traditional Christmas meals. It's started in Italy, where we spent our very first Christmas without any family. That Christmas we had steamed shrimp and lobster and Seprino, Italian white wine, in our beautiful Italian flutes. We had lobster again, when Karen joined us for Christmas. We like lobster, and it's a splurge we don't do often! The past Christmas Eve, I wanted to do something different. Festa dei sette pesce came to mind, feast of the seven fishes. It is a traditional Christmas Eve celebration in Italy. It's pretty easy, seven courses that all involve some seafood. Most everything we had was a new venture in cooking for me. I was nervous, and excited. I planned it out so that the food would be ready at different times throughout the day. I tried to keep the meals versatile. I ended up with shrimp cocktail, crab soup, smoked oysters, herrings in white sauce, mussels in a red sauce, Sicilian salsa verde with sautéed cabbage, and for the main event, spaghetti misto mare (mixed seafood pasta) with tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. My crab soup started out as crab bisque, I ended up missing a key "bisque" ingredient so I tweaked my recipe to be broth based, used with white wine, low sodium chicken broth and water. I was especially proud of my soup, it was so good, and light and simple. The Sicilian salsa verde was made with anchovies, and many other things, turned out excellent as well. It was my first taste of anchovies. I wish I had taken photo's. The end result was 9 adults feed and 2 kids, not one complaint and lots of compliments. It was such a success, I think I'll make this my routine for Christmas Eve. Next year, I'm going to do something completely different. I really wanted fried calamari, but couldn't find it before my meal. That will definitely be there next year!