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I realized early on that if you get married, you additionally marry your husband’s sports activities groups (a minimum of with my man… go Reds!). This extends to cultural traditions too, particularly if he comes from a robust cultural background. That’s the place one of our favorite Christmas traditions referred to as “Feast of the Seven Fishes” finds its roots.

In the event you’re questioning what meals to make for Christmas Eve dinner, give this a attempt! And sure … there actually are seven fishes!

A Option to Preserve Custom Alive

My hubby got here from a big household of Italian descent on one aspect. He and all of his siblings establish as Italian, despite the fact that it’s simply a part of their cultural historical past. After all, we wish to move on one of the best of the tradition, traditions, and heritage from both sides of our household. For the Italian aspect, this usually means passing on the meals and recipes.

Attempting to have a wholesome way of life isn’t about throwing traditions centered round meals out of the window. Removed from it! As a substitute, I’ve modified meatball recipes, pasta recipes, and even biscotti recipes to suit our allergy symptoms and dietary wants.

One Sicilian-American custom particularly was simple and enjoyable to proceed with our household. It’s referred to as “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” within the US however merely “La Vigilia,” (the vigil)  in southern Italy. Because the title suggests, this custom actually entails making seven (or extra) kinds of fish on Christmas Eve.

Feast of the Seven Fishes: It’s What’s for Christmas Eve Dinner!

There’s a lot debate as to the historic origin of this custom, although we proceed it merely due to its connection to household. Consuming fish on Christmas Eve traces again to the Roman Catholic custom of abstaining from meat on Fridays in addition to particular Holy Days. Abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve would have signified ready and anticipation of of the Christ Little one’s arrival on Christmas morning.

The quantity seven can also be up for debate, as many households serve fewer kinds of fish (and a few function many as 13 totally different fish varieties!). Seven is probably going the commonest quantity due to its robust historic and cultural significance in lots of elements of Europe, together with Italy. In biblical historical past, the quantity seven represents completeness and perfection.

NOTE: You don’t must make the entire dishes directly to do this custom! I actually didn’t begin making all seven at first. Decide only one or two and also you’ve bought a festive, significant, and scrumptious Christmas Eve meal.

Our Household’s Model of “La Vigilia

It has taken me virtually a decade to lastly get into a very good routine for this particular Christmas Eve meal. As you’ll be able to think about, there’s lots of prep work and cooking concerned! I’ve added a dish annually till I bought to the total seven over the previous couple of years. These are our favourite dishes and those I’ll be making this yr for our Christmas Eve dinner:

Crab and Clam Arancini (Appetizer)

Sicilian Crab Cake Arancini Recipe

Arancini are a traditional Italian food, however I’ve added two kinds of seafood to make it match with this meal. The title means “little orange” and they’re small fried balls of rice that resemble an orange as soon as cooked. They’re historically crammed with mozzarella cheese and meat, however I take advantage of seafood, herbs, and peppers for a flavorful various.

Mussels in Wine Sauce

A dish that appears actually fancy however couldn’t be easier to make. Since this meal has so many programs, we solely make 2-3 of those per particular person. The children assume they’re enjoyable and revel in serving to make them. I take advantage of this recipe and blend up the herbs and spices a bit of annually.

Shrimp Bisque

savory seafood bisque recipe

A household favourite recreated from a soup we had in a restaurant. This simple shrimp bisque is very easy to make and has superb taste. Making this one at Christmas all the time jogs my memory how good it’s and to place it again within the household meal rotation.

Baccalà- Salted Cod in Butter & Wine Discount

Baccalà is a conventional essential course for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Historically, that is made with true Baccalà cod that has been preserved in salt and dried. Since this may be exhausting to search out in our space, I’ve made my very own model utilizing recent cod and salt in a butter and wine sauce. I’ll share my recipe quickly, however here is a classic Baccalà recipe if you’re .

Scallops in Browned Butter

I like scallops and they’re an ideal a part of a vacation meal. Our favourite option to make them is with a bit of browned butter, olive oil, and recent herbs. Since there are such a lot of different dishes at this meal, we solely make one per particular person. My recipe is very similar to this one (I pass over the capers) and I’ll share my model quickly.

Skillet Bang Bang Shrimp with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

All of the flavors of the well-known bang-bang shrimp with out the deep frying! I saute shrimp in butter till cooked and serve with a candy chili and sriracha sauce. I’ll share my recipe quickly, however this one also looks good.

Serving Ideas and Aspect Dishes

Pasta dishes usually accompany this seafood unfold, however for the reason that meal is extra advanced we hold it sides and dessert tremendous easy on this evening. I make a fresh salad, roast some broccoli, and serve recent fruit with a bit of whipped cream for dessert.

That is fairly just a few meals to organize directly, so I sometimes put together every part besides the scallops forward of time. I gently reheat the dishes, sauté the scallops, toss the salad, and we’re able to go!

One other option to make the meal extra festive is to have some particular wines available. Since I found Dry Farm Wines, I additionally be sure we’ve a number of bottles of their white wine to serve for an ideal pairing, together with some glowing fruit-infused water in fancy glasses for the youngsters!

Do you may have any particular traditions for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner? I’d love to listen to what your loved ones does!

On Christmas Eve, I prepare the traditional Sicilian-American feast of the seven fishes with crab cake arancini, shrimp bisque, salted cod and more!


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