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The Feast of The Seven Fishes

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American celebration of fasting or abstaining from eating meat on Christmas Eve. In Italy, this celebration is known as Festa Dei Sette Pesci, or La Vigilia.

These fish and seafood dishes can be served in courses or simply served family style for all to enjoy as one big meal.

If you are looking to create your own Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration at home, here are a few seafood-forward recipes. We’ve got you covered — from appetizers to soup — to the main course!

Fritto Misto

What can be better than fried calamari and fried vegetables married on a plate together with an amazing garlic aioli or sriracha mayo dipping sauce? Nothing in my opinion.

This is one of those appetizers that is best enjoyed hot out of the fryer, right in the kitchen with your family and friends!

Ingredients:

·       1 ½ pounds fresh squid, tubes and tentacles (rinsed)

·       1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks

·       1 ¼ cups buttermilk

·       2 cups flour

·       ¼ cup rice flour or cornstarch

·       1 teaspoon paprika

·       1 teaspoon salt

·       ½ teaspoon black pepper

·       1 lemon, sliced thin

·       oil for frying

·       garlic aioli or sriracha mayo dipping sauce

Salt the rinsed squid and allow to soak in the buttermilk for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oil to 375°. On a baking sheet, combine the flour, rice flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Lightly coat the zucchini matchsticks and lemon slices in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour and fry in batches. Remove and allow excess oil to drain.

Transfer the calamari from the buttermilk to the remaining flour mixture. Coat and fry in batches.

Combine the fried zucchini, lemons and calamari on a platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

Cioppino – Seafood Stew

Cioppino is a MUST for your Feast of the Seven Fishes meal! Fresh fish and seafood is poached in a tasty tomato broth. One can easily include five of the seven fishes in this amazing seafood stew!

Ingredients:

 ·       ½ pound peeled and deveined shrimp

·       4 large scallops (cut into three pieces each)

·       ½ pound mussels, cleaned

·       1 ½ dozen littleneck clams, cleaned

·       ½ pound flaky, white fish (cut into bite-sized pieces)

·       2 tablespoons olive oil

·       3 garlic cloves, minced

·       1 shallot, minced

·       3 cups marinara sauce

·       1 bottle clam juice

·       1 ½ cups white wine

·       2 teaspoons kosher salt

·       1 teaspoon black pepper

·       ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

·       2 bay leaves

·       3 sprigs fresh thyme

·       2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

·       1 teaspoon lemon zest

·       2 tablespoons fresh parsley

·       lemon wedges, for serving

 Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for a minute before adding the marinara, white wine, clam juice, bay leaves, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the clams. Cover and allow to steam open. Transfer the clams to a bowl as they open. Discard any clams that are open prior to cooking or any that do NOT open. Repeat this process with the mussels.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the fish and scallops. Cook for two minutes before adding the shrimp. Once the shrimp are no longer translucent, add the clams and mussels to warm through.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Reduce heat. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread!

Cod with Cherry Tomatoes

 Cod with Cherry Tomatoes is a perfect substitute for the traditional Italian favorite, Baccala. This cod dish is super quick and easy to prepare and can be served as a main course.

Ingredients:

·       1 ½ pounds fresh cod filets, cut into 5-ounce portions

·       1 cup orange juice

·       1 tablespoon olive oil

·       1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

·       5 fresh thyme sprigs

·       ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

·       2 garlic cloves, sliced

·       juice of one lemon

·       1 teaspoon fresh parsley, for garnish

 Heat the olive oil and orange juice in a pan. Add the cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, garlic, crushed red pepper and lemon juice. Cook for a few minutes.

Season the cod on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the fish to the broth. Place the lid on the pan and steam for about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

For more Feast of the Seven Fishes recipe ideas, visit CharlotteFashionPlate.com/recipes/feast-of-the-seven-fishes/.

If you're too busy to cook The Feast of the Seven Fishes during the holiday then you'll want to visit Zinicola Italian Restaurant to enjoy the dishes a la carte.  

 

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