Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feast of Seven Fishes

We're not Italian, but we love food. My brother and I prepared the Christmas Eve dinner. We try out a twist on the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner, Feast of 7 Fishes.


Stuffed Baked Clams
  • 8 medium baby neck clams, steamed open in 2 cups of white wine with garlic, salt & pepper, meat removed, diced and shells cleaned.
  • 2 cans whole baby clams
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • minced onion
  • minced celery
  • minced garlic
  • S&P
  • 1 egg
  • minced Italian herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme)
  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 1/2 cup reserved
  • Box of rock salt
My brother did this one, entirely off the cuff. Mince everything up fine and combine. Scoop into clamshell halves. Top each clam with a sprinkle of grated cheese

Fill bottom of paella pan with rock salt. Set stuffed clams on the salt and place into 350f degree oven. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Caesar Dressing
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Dash of Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste or mashed anchovies
  • 1½ teaspoons to 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender and purée. While motor is running, slowly pour olive oil through cap in a thin, steady stream. Season with salt, pepper and Parmesan.

Caesar Salad
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons
Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Lobster Bisque
  • 2 Lobsters, cleaned with claws and tails removed and reserved
  • Butter
  • EVOO
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthwise
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, in big chunks
  • 2 long carrots, in big chunks
  • Handfull of fresh thyme
  • Orange zest
  • Tomato paste
  • Cognac
  • Flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped lobster bodies and heads and their juices, leeks, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, orange zest and tomato paste. Cook until the shells are red and the vegetables are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of cognac. Ignite the cognac with a long kitchen match and let the alcohol burn off. Return to the heat, sprinkle in the flour, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add water to cover and stir up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Immediately decrease the heat and gently simmer until the soup is reduced and thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Strain this into a clean pot and season with salt and pepper if needed; keep warm.

Meanwhile, grill or roast the lobster claws and tails until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the meat from the shell. Slice the tail and reserve enough perfect slices to top each bowl of bisque. Chop the remaining meat and stir into the bisque.

To serve, fill bowls and then top with a slice of lobster.


Gravad Lax with Pears on Microgreens
  • Filet of cold smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill
  • Vodka
  • Sugar
  • Sea Salt
  • Microgreens
  • Fresh chevril
  • Fresh micro watercress
  • Lime juice
  • EVOO
  • Poire William
  • Fresh pears
For the salmon: An easy prep for gravad lax uses a filet of previous cold smoked and slices salmon. Place salmon on a half sheet pan. Drizzle vodka on the salmon, the coat with salt, sugar, and finely chopped fresh dill. Cover with wax paper, then place another sheet pan on top of the salmon and place a weight on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Whisk together lime, EVOO, sugar, Poire William, salt and pepper to make a light dressing. Pour into a shallow plate. Cut the pears into thin slices. Coat each slice with dressing, then leave on plate.

Lightly toss microgreens, chevril and watercress with dressing. Arrange on platter. Top with alternating slices of salmon and pear.


Seared Scallops
  • 2 large bay scallops per person
  • Salt & Pepper
Prepare scallops immediately before serving. Remove tough membranes from scallops. Dust tops and bottoms with salt and pepper. Place scallops into very hot cast iron pan. Turn once browned, about 3 minutes. Sear bottom side and serve immediately.

Shrimp Risotto

  • 1lb fresh shrimp in the shell
  • bay leaf
  • peppercorns
  • butter
  • shallots
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • 2c rice
  • White wine
  • Small diced tomatoes
Rinse and peel the shrimp; set aside.

Rinse the shrimp shells, then put them in a saucepan along with the bay leaf, celery leaves, peppercorns, salt, carrots, diced tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock.

In a heavy large saucepan or skillet, melt butter then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until softened but not colored. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains with butter. Fry lightly until rice begins to turn translucent around edges.

Add 1/3 of the reserved stock and bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, until the stock is absorbed.

Stirring, gradually add more stock and the wine until it has all been absorbed and the rice is cooked; this will take about 20 minutes.

Toss in about half a cup of grated Parmesan along with a half cup of cream. Stir over low heat to create a creamy consistency. Serve immediately.

Asparagus and Crab with Hollandaise

  • Asparagus
  • Lump crab meat
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Hollandaise
Cut asparagus into 1" to 2" inch lengths, discarding the tough white ends. Steam until tender.

Flake the crab meat. Saute in butter, garlic, and lemon.

Toss asparagus with crab. Top with:


  • 3 egg yolks, per 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2c butter
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt & White Pepper to taste
Place egg yolks, seasonings, and lemon juice in blender. Melt butter in saucepan. With blender on low, slowly add hot melted butter until emulsified.