Monday, December 27, 2010

Feast of the Seven Fishes 2010 - Locavore Edition

Smoked Fish Duo with Peas and Quick-Pickled Breakfast Radish and Beet

Update: Check out our video of this Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Another year, another crazy multi-course Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner for two on Christmas Eve. Since we've been eating so much great local fish and seafood this year, we decided to keep with that theme and source everything as locally as we could.

The produce came from our garden, the oysters were from Carlsbad Aqua Farm, and the rest is local fish (primarily Baja caught) from Catalina Offshore Products.

We started early in the afternoon and cooked and ate through the evening. Here are the dishes in the order we had them:

Halibut Clementine Ceviche
Halibut Clementine Ceviche

We picked clementines from the communal tree at our garden, and used the juice (along with some lime) to make a simple Halibut ceviche. Some finely chopped onion and fresh chiles (used to marinate, but not served) accentuated the delicate flavor of the fish.

Rock Cod and Potato Ravioli with Marjoram Tomato Sauce
Rock Cod and Potato Ravioli with Marjoram Tomato Sauce

Based on one of our favorite dishes from Mario Batali's Holiday Food - Ravioli alla Spigola, with Rock Cod replacing Sea Bass. The marjoram (picked fresh from our patio) tomato sauce is what really makes this dish. The freshly made pasta doesn't hurt, either...

Smoked Fish Duo - Quick-Pickled Breakfast Radish and Beet - Snap Peas
Smoked Fish Duo with Peas and Quick-Pickled Breakfast Radish and Beet

Each year there seems to be one dish where we spend way too much time messing with silly plating. Last year it was our Niçoise Tuna Skewers. This year it was this smoked fish dish. The fish is Opah (in front) and local Sea Bass (in back). Both fish were nice, but the Opah was particularly good.

Pacific Oysters
Pacific Oysters

We kept the oysters simple this year. Pacific Oysters from Carlsbad Aqua Farm that we slurped down with a little bit of classic mignonette.

Shrimp al Mojo de Ajo
Shrimp al Mojo de Ajo

I can't fathom why we've never done a mojo de ajo dish before. We'll certainly be doing it again, as this may have been my favorite dish of the meal. The Mexican White Shrimp from Catalina Offshore are so good that you don't need to do much to them. Soft, sweet garlic from the mojo, some cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Perfect.

Sculpin with Roasted Golden Beets and Beet Greens
Sculpin with Golden Beets and Beet Greens

Simply prepared with a little bit of vermouth-tinged pan sauce. The Sculpin was good, but the beets were even better. We love golden beets - all of that rich beet flavor without the crimson mess of a red beet.

So there you have it - this year's seven-fish feast. Six dishes, seven fishes, two very content diners.

Happy Holidays!

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful dishes and photos. We will come over next time to join you ;). Just curious since we never cooked a tasting menu at home - how did you deal with the logistics of making the different dishes ? Did you prep everything in the days before and you just had to do the last steps for each dish or did you have longer breaks between each course to prepare each dish ?

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  2. Thanks! The fish was smoked beforehand, but other than that we didn't do much advance prep. The dishes were spread out over the course of the afternoon and evening. This was fine for us, but obviously wouldn't work so well in a more formal dining scenario.

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  3. What a fantastic meal! What's so wonderful is that none of the dishes are heavy and everything is so fresh. Right up Mario's alley! Which course would you have served the Yorkshire pudding with?

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  4. Hi Carol - we did a rib roast for Christmas dinner, which was what your Yorkshire pudding post made me regret that we hadn't made them with. Not enough motivation after all the work on Christmas Eve...

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  5. Doh! I missed the "eve" part, oops. I can certainly understand skipping the puddin' after this teriffic feast.

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  6. This looks fantastic. We had intended to do a 7 fishes dinner, but had to cancel due to illness. Gonna have to check out these vendors, you've talked about Catalina Offshore before, I still haven't checked them out.

    Yum.

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  7. Hi Bbq Dude - definitely check out Catalina. If you are buying locally caught fish elsewhere, chances are it actually came through them. Might as well cut out the middleman.

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