We've always had a tradition of seafood on Christmas Eve. It started with Sherry's family tradition of oyster stew. That evolved into more of a chowder which then became a multi-fish stew. When we learned of the Italian tradition of La Vigilia (the Feast of the Seven Fishes), we decided that it was right up our alley.
Since 2007, we've been doing an annual Christmas Eve "Seven" fish feast. We don't worry about the exact number of dishes or fishes, and we don't limit ourselves to Italian dishes. We just use the holiday as an inspiration to create a multi-course meal centered around fish and shellfish.
Here are the Seven Fish Feasts we've done in previous years, in reverse chronological order:
|Feast of the Seven Fishes 2012 - Mexican Inspired|
Bay Scallop Ceviche. Camarones a la Plancha. Bahia Falsa Oysters. Venus Clams and Carlsbad Mussels a la Mexicana. Tortitas de Cameron Seco. Cabrilla and Baqueta Grouper.
|Feast of the Seven Fishes 2011|
Bay Scallop and Tomato Gratin. Egg, Shrimp and Scallion Pancakes. Sculpin Jun. Smoked Salmon Dip. Oysters. Swordfish with Romanesco and Romesco. Fish Stew with Onions and Saffron.
|Feast of the Seven Fishes, Locavore Edition|
Halibut Clementine Ceviche. Rock Cod and Potato Ravioli with Marjoram Tomato Sauce. Smoked Fish Duo. Pacific Oysters. Shrimp al Mojo de Ajo. Sculpin with Roasted Golden Beets and Beet Greens.
|Feast of the Seven Fishes 2009|
Oysters with Chile de Arbol and Cilantro. Niçoise Tuna Skewers. Seared Scallops with Spicy Lentils. Seafood Paella.
|Seven Fishes Southeast Asian Style|
Oysters with Vietnamese Ginger-Chili Mignonette. Cured Salmon Four Ways. Thai Steamed Mussels. Vietnamese Salad with Smoked Trout and Bitter Greens. Ginger Fish. Squid in Caramel Sauce. Napa Cabbage Soup with Shrimp Dumplings.
|Our first seven-fish feast|
Oysters with a Thai mignonette. Spicy fish and lentil croquettes. Sardines on toast. Yucatecan squid salad. Fish and shellfish stew.