Delightful Fish and Seafood dishes...
Raised by parents who originated from the mid-Southern parts of Italy...our customs, although finding ourselves living in North America, did not sway much from what they experienced growing up.
As much as there are several more selections which some traditionally name ' la Festa dei sette Pesci ' the " Feast of the Seven Fishes ", it's the main dish which displeased all my senses.
Terribly, in a way, I used to dread this upcoming Christmas Eve supper. Unfortunately, my taste buds fervently fought back from the first bite of this salty codfish. Hence, for every Eve that went by throughout the younger part of my life...I was required to suck it up and be grateful I had something so wonderfully symbolic in my plate. If one considers all the hunger in the world...one could only reason that I was slightly ungrateful. In my defence, I was very young. In those moments of life it's not about the others, it's about you and what you're feeling.
Yes, I was told countless times the endearing story about the celebration commemorating the waiting of baby Jesus to be born. However, in all honesty...Santa Claus was the main man on a child's mind. I was certainly no different than any kid believing that this bubbly man was coming down our chimney overnight to bring me a few well deserved gifts. The excitement alone kept me well behaved at the table.
Note about this photo: Every year, my step-Dad's childhood tradition is to meticulously and lovingly put together this charming festive scenery. This is his biggest thrill.
Therefore, if I didn't want coals and onions for gifts, I'd better behave or else Santa was not coming for my cookies in exchange for my wish list ;o)
If I were in Italy or back under my parents roof, it would be certain that this custom of having cod fish as the finishing meal would still be enforced.
Now, that I'm much older and capable of running my own show...I'll eat what pleases me so that I could actually look forward to the supper that takes place on Christmas Eve.
It's now my roof, my kitchen, my table...and of course my rules. ;o)
Hubby and I have also decided that Christmas Eve was to be quietly and peacefully enjoyed together and Christmas day is to be spent in a big family way. Now, the situation has become much more manageable ;o) which is what fuels me within this holiday period.
. 10 small cremini mushrooms
. 1 big red bell pepper
. 5 medium baby squids (or cuttlefish)
. 1 tbsp. (15ml) capers (crushed)
. 20 whole black olives (Kalamata type)
Seasonings: 1 tsp. (5ml) each sea salt and garlic powder
. 1 lb (450g) dry Linguini pasta
. Pour the reserved cup of hot water and stir into the pasta. Cook the whole mix for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Cover the skillet for 5 more minutes on very low heat so that the flavours amalgamate further.
. 2 long Basa fish fillets * (large and long)
. Carefully start rolling from the narrow end of the fillet. Finish off by pinning them with a thick toothpick.
. Prepare a pan (Pyrex glass dish type)...pour the Sherry wine on the bottom and place the rolls with the fillet tips downwards.
. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. Leave another 5 minutes while the oven is turned off.
to spruce up your dish and please your palate...
Growing up, one of the best parts of Christmas Eve was the anticipation of what could possibly be found the next day under the tree ;o)
Now, I'm little older, wiser and much more spiritual about the meaning of what these holidays truly represent. The real gift, is the love I'm largely capable of giving with no expectation of it in return.
(This photo was taken last year at my parents.)
Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
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