Happy Holidays everyone, welcome back after a long week of preparing and eating some great food. I hope that fat dude in the red suit brought you everything you wanted. Besides the many thoughtful gifts my holiday week was full of friends, family, music, and more food than I can remember…but I’ll try (it is a food blog anyways).
The reason I love the holidays is the anticipation of spending time with those I love and miss, not all the other mumbo jumbo. Fortunately, our friends began to arrive from far and wide early in the week and came by our place for beers, music, and wii bowling on xmas eve eve. I didn’t win the wii bowling tourney (damn you Swede) but we did enjoy some Brooklyn Boy’s Pizza, 4 actually, and an impromptu jam session.
Christmas Eve is the day I look forward to all year. Seafood is my favorite thing to cook with more varieties and flavors than any other group of proteins, this day full of nothing but water-born treasures is like a wet dream (get it?). The morning started off with pops picking me up at 9 to head to the Asian Market. With eyes half open, nine is early for some of us, we came to find the market closed till 10….weak! A few espresso’s later we were back at the Asian Market, 10:05, to find it packed. Luckily we knew exactly what we were looking for and called ahead the previous evening to make sure they’d have what we need. The Asian Market is like a culinary field trip worth it’s own post so I’ll save the marvelous wonders of that place for another time. Fish in hand, it was time to cook.
Pops dropped me off to prepare a few items I had to prep before heading to my parents house which I whipped thru Iron Chef stylee, making it to my parents by 1:30 with 3 dishes completed. Cooking with my brothers and father is always full of music, making fun of eachother (mostly my father), and creating a mess (mostly my father again), and this year was no different. Add in my mom calling out dozens of irrational requests for unnecessary items to be cleaned and you’ve got a pretty crazy atmosphere to cook in, luckily I’ve had 24 years of training in this place…
The menu always changes during the process too, with dishes being altered to whatever we did/did not pick up at the store or have the patience to make. As best I can remember, our menu for the evening was:
Anchovy Bread ( a family recipe we make every year)
She Crab Soup
Linguine and Clams (new recipe, best ever)
Black Sea Bass w/ fennel, orange, and balsamic (personal recipe, one of my faves)
Rice & Beans (my dad made them for our Jamaican friend Wendy)
Garlic and Lemon Asparagus
That’s Matty, my nephew. Epic amounts of food, the last course wasn’t served until almost 10! Dessert had too many things to list, Meg’s mom made about 6 or 7 types of Italian cookies, there were cakes, fruit, you name it we had it. Best of all were Meg’s homemade black and white’s, along with a last espresso and plenty of struffole ( a sicilian honey-ball fritter my fams been making forever) it was exactly the xmas eve I was looking forward to.
Christmas day was much more laid back, only Megs and I, my brothers and parents enjoying antipast’ and a rib roast. Some more tunes, with the addition of a bass line thanks to Anthony’s new bass amp, and the holiday weekend was practically over.
It always a bummer when everyone has to depart and go there separate ways but a majority of my out-of-town friends are sticking around thru the new year and coming to our house for an old fashion house party New Years Eve. That ish is potluck so stay tuned for those dishes, Buon Natale for the last time this decade!