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what we ate: christmas 2012

In dinner on December 29, 2012 at 11:57 pm

for dinner on christmas day, we were inspired by an italian christmas eve tradition – the feast of the seven fishes. i’m not italian and i don’t really know anything about it besides the fact that it’s a thing… but we love fishes, and seven are better than one. clearly.

since it was just the two of us, and so no one had to slave in the kitchen while the other ate, we divided it into three courses.

we started with oysters, scallops, anchovies, and mussels. (that’s four fishes)

christmas_oyster

on the half shell.

christmas_scallop

“cooked” table-side with my creme brulee torch (really very rare on the inside) and finished with salt.

christmas_anchovy

with olive oil on homemade bread.

christmas_bread

homemade bread.

christmas_mussels

pickled; also on homemade bread, but scooped directly to mouth works just as well, too. these are fantastic and easy and i’ve already made them again since then. the recipe comes from jose andres, so how could you go wrong, really?

then we took a little break and got ready for the next two fishes – cod and octopus.

christmas_codcake

he made the most delicious fried salt cod cakes with a milk-based lemon and garlic aioli for dipping. recipe here.

christmas_octopus

a whole octopus, cooked in the pressure cooker for 45 minutes and then pan-browned, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with plenty of parsley and lemon. i really love octopus.

for the final course/fish, we had clam linguini planned, but we were starting to get full and didn’t want to miss this:

christmas_pavlova

dessert. so we skipped the clams – a feast of six fishes!!

it was a vanilla pavlova with brandy whipped cream, berries, and kiwi. oh man. maybe the best part of the meal.

pavlovas are a high-impact, low-effort, medium-skill dessert. check out the recipe and video tutorial here.

and for the ghosts of christmas dinners past…

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