To mark our stay-at-home Christmas this year, I decided to hold our main meal according to Scandinavian tradition, on Christmas Eve. This pleased Danish H very much.
Instead of the traditional roast pork with gravy, I swapped in a menu that was largely from Naples and further south – the traditional feast of the seven fishes. This ended up pleasing H (a big fish fan) and our guests as well.
For our first round, I nearly made it to seven by virtue of a smoked fish plate (very Danish), with smoked scallops, trout, tuna, salmon, whitefish, and what may have been mackerel. The veggie antipasto items included marinated whole artichokes, roasted red peppers, lupini beans, a little olivada, capers, and great breads – scandinavian rye bread from Tall Grass Bakery, a hot french baguette and italian cracker bread. Veuve Clicquot goes with all of these offerings beautifully, and so pop went the bubbly.
For the next round, the fresh fishes were salmon and halibut; the salmon was baked straight up with salt, pepper, lemons and olive oil; the halibut steaks were cooked “soup style” in a broth of tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, garlic, onions, and a lot of dry vermouth. We uncorked a reasonably priced Chianti recommended by the Costco wine steward based on our wild wild fish options, and which was met with approval by our guests.
Our sides made for a delicious vegetarian feast – crisp-tender broccolini, and a vibrant beet risotto with greens that had our guests asking for the recipe. (I’ll post it
The final course was an easy, light dessert. We had macerated oranges (made a little more adult with a splash of Cointreau), an assortment of Italian cookies (ginger, mandorlati, chocolate biscotti), meyer lemon and raspberry sorbets, and vanilla ice cream.
In the end, it was a wonderful meal, a perfect complement to our company. And the leftovers made Christmas day an easier prospect, given that H, Ben and I were felled by a particularly nasty upper respiratory infection. But we were at home, able to either pluck a leftover from our own fridge or steal a nap in our own beds at anytime. Merry if congested Christmas, Glaedig Jul, e Buon Natale!