New Twists on the Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes may be an Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition, but it's so good that we think everyone should celebrate it. The feast, commemorating the wait for the midnight birth of Baby Jesus, usually consists of seven (or eight or nine) different seafood courses.
Photo by Southern Foodways Alliance A good gumbo is rich, warm, and inviting -- just like any holiday should be.
Typically, these include baccalà (salted cod), fried smelts or sardines, stuffed calamari, and some other combination of oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops.
While we love the traditional Italian preparations, we thought it'd be fun to turn a few on their head. From international takes to dishes with some H-town flair, here are Seven New Dishes for Your Feast of The Seven Fishes:
Instead of Baked Salt Cod: Portuguese Baccalà Fritters
Photo by snowpea&bokchoi Filled with creamy mashed potatoes and flaky salt cod, these fritters make the perfect first bite.
Traditionally, baccalà is served as the first course of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. We think these fritters make the perfect first bite.
Stuffed with salt cod and mashed potatoes, these breaded and fried croquettes are crisp on the outside and creamy and decadent on the inside. Serve them with lemon, garlic aioli and/or tomato sauce. Get the recipe here.
Instead of Stuffed Calamari: Squid-Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
These breadcrumb-calamari-and-Serrano-stuffed piquillos are another great appetizer. If you're avoiding meat for the holiday, just remove the ham; otherwise, go all in on this recipe.
Serve the peppers in a light and fresh marinade of olive oil, garlic, parsley and tomatoes, and be sure to use any leftover bread for sopping up the juices.
Instead of Shrimp Risotto: Crawfish Mac and Cheese
We love the idea of mimicking the creamy rice dish with a crawfish-loaded, gooey and cheesy macaroni and cheese. This version uses Parmigiano-Reggiano, white cheddar, Gruyère, Fontina and, of course, a pound of crawfish tails.
Serve it family-style topped with chopped fresh parsley.