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Celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes This Christmas Eve

Global Feature
#0866
By: Elizabeth Winslow
Celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes This Christmas Eve

Italian-Americans might not be able to agree on the origins or fine details of the traditional Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes, but there's no doubt about its essentials: an abundance of fish and creatures from the sea, consumed with plenty of good wine. You don't have to be Italian or even much of a wise man to recognize that keeping vigil with a myriad of fish dishes, lobster, shrimp and copious amounts of vino is a pretty good idea. Let Santa have his cookies—we're holding out for La Vigilia.

This year, start your own holiday tradition in the spirit of the Seven Fishes. Make things easy on yourself by hosting potluck style, or toss several “fishes" into one dish. With a little planning ahead, it's a feast within reach for any passionate cook. And as a gift that keeps on giving, your newfound seafood skills can sustain you all year long.

While you can certainly keep things traditional with Italian-inflected recipes like angel hair pasta with smoked salmon and tomato herb sauce, there's no reason why you can't bring a little fusion-style fun into your meal planning. Try a Louisianastyle spicy shrimp remoulade with angel hair pasta, or Thai glazed shrimp, or go south of the border with easy-to-prepare seafood quesadillas. Lemon dill cod and marinated grilled salmon with tarragon butter are simple and elegant main course options, and you can't go wrong (now or anytime of the year) with a classic lobster roll.

We hope you've got room left for dessert, because no self-respecting Italian would turn down a little Christmas Eve cannoli, stuffed with sweet orange peel-scented ricotta.

Elizabeth Winslow is a writer, food blogger, culinary instructor and entrepreneur in Austin, Texas. She is a regular contributor to Edible Austin and creates compelling content for brands both large and small. She has an M.A. in Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio and teaches cooking classes with Kitchen Underground. Winslow + co.

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