Feast of the 7 Fish

Feast of the 7 Fish for Christmas Eve

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Without doubt, Christmas Eve is my favorite feast of the year.  Mostly because I love seafood, but what is better, its seven different types of seafood, and what is better than a 7-course meal?  Not everyone loves calamari, and some might be allergic to shellfish.  So, what we plan to do here is offer you many dishes so at the end of browsing them, you have 7 different types of seafood dishes to serve this Christmas Eve.  Does it have to be seven?  Of course not, however, seven is the number of days of the week, the number of sacraments, etc., etc.

Let’s start off with the easiest:  Shrimp.  Shrimp cook in less than a few minutes.  They are perfect, everyone loves them and you can cook them many ways.   Here are suggestions:

Shrimp Cocktail:  shrimp boiled in water, cooled, chilled and served with lemon, cocktail sauce if you are American (cocktail sauce is a combination of lemon, horseradish and tomato sauce).

Shrimp Scampi:  Scampi is a type of shrimp, however, this sauce works with nearly any type of shellfish, so while we call it “scampi”, its just the original style of the sauce that was served.  Ready?  Here we go:  Equal parts of butter and olive oil in a hot fry pan, add garlic, chili flakes if you wish, and once its gently simmering, add some dry white wine.  Throw in the shrimp and when they turn pink-red, they are done (no more than 5 minutes).  Bam! You are done!

Shrimp Oilo:  This is more of a Portuguese or Spaniard thing, but you can gently bring up heat to a pan of olive oil with whole cloves, allow to simmer, and then add in your shrimp.  Serve with bread for dipping into the garlic-flavored oil.  Delicious.

You just learned 3 classic Italian dishes.  Remember, Italian food is all about freshness and simplicity.  Its the least complicated food in the world.  Its a matter of freshness and knowing what ingredients play well with each other.  For example, there is NEVER any such thing as Shrimp Parmesan.  NEVER do you put cheese, grated or otherwise on seafood.  EVER.  The other rule is never does one single ingredient dominate the other.  Its all about balance. Equal parts of everything so the flavors of each are there to compliment each other, not dominate one over the other so you would never know that ingredient is not in that particular dish.

 

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