Friday, December 30, 2016

Feast of the Seven Fishes

This Christmas Eve, I celebrated the holiday with the Feast of the Seven Fishes with my amazing fiancé. The Feast is an Italian American tradition (with roots from southern Italy), where you serve seven different fish dishes. Typically you have a lot of people and extended family participate and there is always plenty of food to go around. This year it was just the two of us, so we started eating early! It was perfect! There are some of the recipes that I used that were from a previous Feast post here.

Drumroll please....
Crab Dip
Calamari (in the previous post)
Seafood Stew
Salmon Croquettes (found here)
Stuffed Clams
Butterfly Shrimp (previous post)
Lobster Mac and Cheese

Crab Dip

8 oz chive and onion cream cheese
8 oz mascarpone
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz lump crab meat, drained
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Just mix all the ingredients together and spoon into a greased baking dish. Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbling. Serve with crusty Italian or French bread.

Seafood Stew (aka Cioppino)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 8-oz bottles clam juice
1 teaspoon parsley
2 bay leaves
8 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes for about 3 minutes. Add wine and raise heat to boil. Reduce the wine by half, and then add the tomatoes. Crush them by hand as you add them. Stir occasionally until thickened (about 20 minutes). Add the clam juice, parsley, bay leaves, water, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer. Remove bay leaves before serving.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 lbs of mussels and clams
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 lb skinless white fish (I used sea bass)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallot, stirring often until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat; add mussels and wine. Set over medium to high heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shells open (discard any that do not open), about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add fish and shrimp. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve while hot.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

1.5 lb lobster tail
1 lb cavatappi or other macaroni
1 quart whole milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 cup flour
4 cups grated Gruyere cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup ground nutmeg
1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the lobster tail about 15 minutes. Once cooked, removed from the water and allow to cool. Remove the meat and dice into cubes. Place into large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking pan. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boil water until al dente.

In a large pot, heat the milk and 6 tablespoons butter. Do not allow to boil. Add the flour and whisk. Cook for 1-2 minutes after the milk gets hot. Turn off the heat and add the cheeses, salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Add to the lobster and pasta. Pour into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine the butter and bread crumbs. Top the pasta and bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.