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Thread: Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve?

  1. #1

    Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve?

    Looked and didn't see a thread, so apologies if I missed it. Trying to stop being so indecisive and plan the freakin' menu so I can move on. For the past few years, I've done a Ciopinno, which takes care of a good 5 out of the 7 fish, making C Eve very easy. It just didn't seem very "feast like" last year, so I think I'm going to do a standing rib roast and then do 7 seafood dishes to change it up a bit. Being 8 months pregnant, I delegated a little more than usual this year. Mom is going to make an Eggplant Timbale recipe that I found from Emeril (fish #1 anchovy and takes care of hearty side/veg), Shrimp Cocktail (fish #2) and something with clams (#3). My sister, along with a bread basket and fulfilling a Billy's Bakery cupcake craving I have, is making Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs (fish #4). I'm going to make the roast, some salad, Spumo di Tonno (fish #5, a TNT from Michael Chairello) and then 2 more fish. So I think it will be manageable. Leaning towards scallops (a casserole) and mussels.

    Our dessert tradition (French) is 14 desserts, but am buying all that from a great local wholesale bakery.

    Whatcha making?
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  2. #2
    DmOrtega Guest
    For feasts such as this, are you required to eat some of everything?

    My question is out of curiosity. Although, I hear about this every year, I know little to nothing about the idea behind it. It seems like you might need a large group of people to eat everything, including 14 desserts.
    Last edited by DmOrtega; 12-19-2007 at 11:14 AM.

  3. #3
    No, just that it's on the table. Some of the dishes are more like little bites (i.e., Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs), as opposed to something you take a larger helping of. Otherwise, we'd all be rolling out of the dining room.

    Some regions of Italy actually do 11 or 13 different fishes, depending on the interpretation of the tradition (i.e., number of apostles, commandments, etc.)

    As far as the desserts, the tradition includes things like a bowl of nuts, bowl of fruits, etc., so we're not doing something like 14 heavy pies, you know? The wholesale bakery that we use happens to have a pastry assortment that you can buy that features lots of mini pastries (tarts, cannolis, eclairs, cake, etc.), almost the size of say 2-3 bites, so the fact that there are 14+/- different items qualifies and makes it easier to manage (and swallow!)

    Editing to add: and half the fun of having a feast like this is the next few days of leftovers.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    On the TNT Spumo di Tonno from Michael Chairello, is that this recipe from the Food Network?

    Tuna Mousse: Spuma di Tonno

    Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello

    1 can (7 ounces or 200 grams) imported olive oil-packed tuna, drained
    1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon heavy cream
    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper

    Put the tuna in a food processor and pulse to break up the fish. With the machine running, add the butter, cream, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce and blend until smooth. Then stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Add the lemon juice and pulse again. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper and blend again. Check the seasoning.

    Serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If refrigerated, return the spuma to room temperature before serving.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 3/4 cup

    Sounds good! Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    The Dec 2006 issue of CL had a wonderful Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu. We just did the whole thing for our supper club party last weekend, it was fabulous!

  6. #6
    For starters & appetizers, the thread, "Mark Bittman's 101 Simple Appetizers in 20 Minutes or Less". has lots of suggestions that would seem to be appropriate.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the heads up - will definitely check them out. Years ago, we always had lobster tails as part of our feast, but then my sister was vegetarian for a few years and we omitted them. Now that she's back to eating fish/meat, think it might be time for them to make a reappearance.
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