Christmas Eve is the most festive night for in my family. I grew up do the family gift exchange on that night (Santa's gifts the next morning). We would usually enjoy several small plates & appetizers. This tradition has carried on throughout my life. This year I decided to combine that tradition with another tradition the feast of seven fishes popular in some Italian Christmas Eve traditions for the absence of meat. No meat is perfect for me, as you may know I am a vegetarian who eats fish, a pescetarian. I thought it would be elegant to create miniature versions of some of my favorite seafood dishes, like Shrimp, Oysters, Cockles, Lobster, Tuna Tartare, Crab and prepare a whole roasted Branzino. As Ina would say "how easy is that?". Well, it was pretty simple & a lot of fun, but the following night the only thing I made were reservations. Here are a couple of my favorite bites from Christmas Eve. I hope you had a lovely holiday & enjoy these recipes as much as me! Merry Christmas!
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest or 4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp soy sauce
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger
10 ounces sushi grade tuna, minced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced seeded red or green Thai or serrano chile
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon of chives
1 avocado, halved, pitted
4 radishes, thinly sliced
- Combine lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water in a small saucepan. (Alternatively, pulse lime leaves and sugar in a spice mill until a coarse paste forms, then add to pan with juice and water.) Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Cover and let cool completely. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
- Whisk in soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger to lime mixture to blend.
- Toss tuna with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium bowl; add chile and shallot; season lightly with salt.
- Scoop avocado flesh into another medium bowl; mash with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt.
- Divide avocado among small bowls. Top each with tuna mixture, then 1/4 of the radish slices & snipped chives. Spoon dressing over avocado and drizzle radishes lightly with chili oil. Serves 4. Via bon appetite.
Orange Tarragon Poached Lobster
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 live lobster (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tangelo, tangerine, or orange
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 sprig fresh tarragon, plus 10 leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
4 leaves Bibb lettuce
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and the vinegar. Plunge lobster head-first into water; cook 3 minutes (meat will not be fully cooked). Transfer lobster to a cutting board.
- Using a kitchen towel to protect your hands, twist off tail and claws; discard body. Twist fan off end of tail, and push meat out of shell. Alternatively, use kitchen shears to cut up length of tail, and pull shell away from meat. Cut tail meat in half lengthwise, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; set aside. Separate claws from knuckles; twist and pull off pincers, being careful to keep meat intact. With back of knife, crack knuckle end of claw to loosen shell. Gently remove whole piece of meat; set aside with tail. Using your finger or the handle of a spoon, push knuckle meat out of shell. Wipe any white residue off meat. Meat can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 hours ahead; bring to room temperature before poaching.
- Remove peel and pith from orange using a sharp knife. Working over a bowl, carve out flesh between membranes, allowing segments to drop into bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes into bowl. Transfer juice in bowl to a separate bowl; reserve juice for dressing.
- Put 1/3 cup juice into a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and the tarragon sprig. Submerge lobster meat in the butter sauce. Poach until opaque and cooked through, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk 3 tablespoons warm poaching liquid into 2 tablespoons reserved juice in bowl; whisk in pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add lobster to dressing; toss gently to coat. Just before serving, add orange segments and tarragon leaves; toss gently to combine. Season with salt.
- Arrange 2 lettuce leaves on each serving plate. Place lobster and orange segments on top. Spoon dressing over top. Via Martha Stewart.
DID YOU EAT SOMETHING MEMORABLE THIS HOLIDAY? HAVE YOU EVER HAD THE SEVEN FISHES? TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE SEAFOOD DISHES BELOW.