Holiday/Christmas Food Traditions?

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So, this Christmas we decided to take the lead and cook for all 11 people at my parent’s house this year. Are we crazy? Making a mistake? Time will tell, folks! We’ll let you know how it went on the 26th! We are even bucking tradition by not cooking my mother’s “famous” Christmas Eve dinner of Shrimp and Scallops Scampi. Instead, we’ve (crazily?) decided to do a four-course fish-only meal. I’m hoping we’re not in over our head – what do you think? Here’s the menu:

Course 1: Calamari Salad with capers and cannellini beans marinated in lemon, olive oil and garlic spooned over endive

Course 2: Fritto Misto di Mare with Garlic Lemon Aioli

Course 3: Homemade Linguini Fra’diavolo with Crab and Prawns

With Course 3: Side Dish of Garlicy Broccoli Rape w/ Peperoncino

Course 4: Homemade Lobster Ravioli with Wilted Leek Butter Sauce

With Course 4: Side Dish of Arugula Salad with Pinenuts, Parmigiano Crisps, tossed with Olive Oil and 50 year-old Balsamic Vinegar from Modena

To represent my English husband, we’ll be introducing the American family to English Christmas Crackers. Should be explosively fun (sarcasm, kids).

Do you have any Holiday Food Traditions that you either make every year or you’re going to try to start this year? I’d love to hear about them! And have a Happy Holiday season!

UPDATE: Please check out a few of our recipes and pics from our Christmas meal:

4 thoughts on “Holiday/Christmas Food Traditions?

  1. you can not have a traditional italian christmas without rice balls. this recipe is from my neighbor growing up. mary benechhi, off the boat italian, she was the head chef at alitalia first class and i spent all of my christmas eve’s as a child at her house. i actually just made a batch yesterday because the holiday season just is not the same without them. enjoy!!

    This recipe is for about 50 balls – you can cut it if you need to

    * 10 cups CAROLINA rice – cooked & COOLED COMPLETELY
    * 1 tub grated Parmesan Cheese
    * 2 lbs grated Mozzarella
    * 1 dozen eggs
    * 1 bunch fresh parsley (washed & chopped fine)
    * 4 or 5 nice size cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
    * seasoned bread crumbs
    * Canola or Vegetable Oil to fry

    Cook & cool rice. Add cheeses, garlic, parsley and eggs. Combine thoroughly and form balls. Roll in bread crumbs & deep fry until golden & they will “pop up”

    i actually baked mine instead of dealing with all the frying. they tasted fine, of course deep frying adds a little something something, but i just filled up the pan half way with oil cooked at 350 and flipped them half way thru.

  2. thanks, meliss! so funny you mentioned the rice balls (arancini in italian) b/c we ended up buying some from our local italian shop in brooklyn. yes, i totally farted out on cooking another thing – but your recipe seems so easy!! Thanks so much for it! CAN”T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!

  3. nice. i bet those have peas and meat in them as well, which is also traditional and great, but i tend to squish the peas…8-) they are easy, but at least you got some.

    see you in a week!!!!

  4. I wish I could have been one of your parents’ family – I love the sound of all the dishes you’ve mentioned and tho’ I’m not too keen on pasta with seafood sauce, I would have loved to try them too.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Holidays to you both!

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