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Old 10-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #1
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Feast of the Seven Fishes

This is a question that won't be relevant for most for another two months minimally, but I'm asking now because I will need to find recipes and try them prior to December.

I have always been intrigued by the concept behind "The Feast of Seven Fishes" served on Christmas eve. (Or perhaps I simply love the name.) I'd love to hear what is typically served at this feast, to gain some tried and true recipes, and to have some basic ideas in general.

I've always loved customs from other cultures and the foods associated with them. Ideas, experiences, recipes, anyone? Menus even! I really would like to put this together this year!

~Kathleen
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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Interesting. Here's a link if anyone else is in my boat and never heard of this.
Feast of the Seven Fishes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for adding the link for clarity, Pacanis! I'm embarrassed that I did not think to do it.

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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Cool, thanks Pac!
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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I have seen several shows on it. I would love to try some of the dishes.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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It sounds like another great way to eat fish.
I remember eating fish on Christmas Eve as a kid, but I know we didn't do the seven fish thing.
Of course, a good clambake has four or five of those fish covered Or Ciopinno.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
It sounds like another great way to eat fish.
I remember eating fish on Christmas Eve as a kid, but I know we didn't do the seven fish thing.
Of course, a good clambake has four or five of those fish covered Or Ciopinno.
I'd be happy with 7 bits of salmon...
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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Not that long ago, I had to research and write an article on this southern Italian tradition. One of the dishes can be pasta con le sarde, popular on the island of Sardinia, using namesake sardines. Cook it in olive oil with thinly sliced fennel root and toasted pine nuts, maybe in a spicy marinara like arrabbiata. I think the pasta for this dish is one of personal preference. The feast is one of nightly vigil and anticipation toward Christmas Day.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
It sounds like another great way to eat fish.
I remember eating fish on Christmas Eve as a kid, but I know we didn't do the seven fish thing.
Of course, a good clambake has four or five of those fish covered Or Ciopinno.
Shush! That might be my secret plan!

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I'd be happy with 7 bits of salmon...
Shush! That may be my back-up plan!

Quote:
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Not that long ago, I had to research and write an article on this southern Italian tradition. One of the dishes can be pasta con le sarde, popular on the island of Sardinia, using namesake sardines. Cook it in olive oil with thinly sliced fennel root and toasted pine nuts, maybe in a spicy marinara like arrabbiata. I think the pasta for this dish is one of personal preference. The feast is one of nightly vigil and anticipation toward Christmas Day.
Hmm! It sounds pretty tasty. I've never had fennel root. Do you just slice it up or is there more to it?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:49 PM   #10
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Fried smelts are wonderful!
Dried cod is traditional and prepared in many ways.
Lobster Fra Diavolo
Shrimp
Snails
Calamari fried or stuffed
Clams casino or in sauce
All sorts of good things.
Then some sausage and meatballs after midnight!
We do this as a potluck, it is quite a bit of work and expense for one person.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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Okay, I'm ready for some recipes with fishies.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:14 PM   #12
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Lobster Fra Diavolo

2 pounds of lobster tails split up the back.
6 cloves of sliced garlic
6 cups of plum tomatoes squeezed into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper to taste

Heat oil salt, pepper flakes, garlic. Add tomatoes and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings/heat. Add lobster and cook 10- 15 minutes until the tails curl. Serve over pasta. This is good with cod, shrimp, scallops and clams or a combination.

In my original post I forgot to mention the pizza topped with onions black olives and anchovies.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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Yum! Copied and pasted.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Fried smelts are wonderful!
Dried cod is traditional and prepared in many ways.
Lobster Fra Diavolo
Shrimp
Snails
Calamari fried or stuffed
Clams casino or in sauce
All sorts of good things.
Then some sausage and meatballs after midnight!
We do this as a potluck, it is quite a bit of work and expense for one person.
All of these things sound fantastic! PF beat me to asking for recipes.

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Lobster Fra Diavolo

2 pounds of lobster tails split up the back.
6 cloves of sliced garlic
6 cups of plum tomatoes squeezed into pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 t salt
1 t red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper to taste

Heat oil salt, pepper flakes, garlic. Add tomatoes and cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Adjust seasonings/heat. Add lobster and cook 10- 15 minutes until the tails curl. Serve over pasta. This is good with cod, shrimp, scallops and clams or a combination.

In my original post I forgot to mention the pizza topped with onions black olives and anchovies.
And this was the recipe I was going to request. It sounds SO good. Thank you!
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:44 PM   #15
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When I used to do a Christmas Eve Scandinavian smorgasbord, I typically would have several seafood/fish based dishes--herring dishes, shrimp, and cod. I never thought about it, but I often did serve at least 7 fish/seafood-based dishes (herring, herring-beet salad, gravlox, cavier, smoked herring, shrimp salad, etc.) and meatballs at midnight (smorgasbord would start at 3:00 p.m. XMas Eve and we'd be done with the dessert table around 3:00 a.m.). A lot of work--but so good! Gravlox would be on my list of dishes for 7 Fishes!
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:52 PM   #16
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When I used to do a Christmas Eve Scandinavian smorgasbord, I typically would have several seafood/fish based dishes--herring dishes, shrimp, and cod. I never thought about it, but I often did serve at least 7 fish/seafood-based dishes (herring, herring-beet salad, gravlox, cavier, smoked herring, shrimp salad, etc.) and meatballs at midnight (smorgasbord would start at 3:00 p.m. XMas Eve and we'd be done with the dessert table around 3:00 a.m.). A lot of work--but so good! Gravlox would be on my list of dishes for 7 Fishes!
Could you share a recipe?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:20 AM   #17
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this is probably all in the link pac posted, but from what i understand, it's supposed to be made of only white fishes to represent purity, and 7 of them for the 7 catholic sacraments.

we're not italian, but we usually follow something similar on christmas eve. my norwegian mom used to make a big fish buffet before midnight mass. i never realized that there was a tradition behind it.
getting 7 white fish dishes is tough, though.

fried flounder is always on the menu, along with bacala in a cream sauce, grilled swordfish bites, some kind of calamari dish, and often clams, shrimp, and scungilli make it in there.

the latter is less white, but it's close and it's fish. i'm sure god doesn't mind.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:17 AM   #18
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I don't know I could find 7 kinds of white fish! Cod (torsk) would qualify--poached in white wine or water, salt and pepper, served with drawn butter. That was my mom's answer to lutefisk (which, I've since learned, one is to salt fairly heavily and rehydrate for 2-3 days to make it flaky--who knew?). Fiskeboller. I'll have to look for my grandmother's recipe...as I recall, her's was similar to this:

Norwegian Fiskeboller Or Fish Balls Recipe

We'd have these on New Year's Eve.

I'll dig out my smorgasbord recipes closer to Christmas. The whipped cream and cavier spread is one of my favorites...
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:30 PM   #19
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Seven white fishes.....that is a challenge for me. *ponders*
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:42 AM   #20
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Seven white fishes.....that is a challenge for me. *ponders*
A good fish chowder with seven fish; cod, flounder, sole, scallops, clams, calarmari, lobster meat, you get the idea. Start with a good fish stock. Ask your fishmonger for a couple of fish frames. (Heads and all) You can get them from your supermarket also. Those are what is left over after the fish has been filleted. Make sure you catch all the juices from shelled seafood and add that if you don't put them in with the shells. Served with a loaf of crusty peasant or artisan bread to sop up the juices and you will have folks just barely able to move away from the table. One big pot, easy cleanup. Happy folks.

Any time you serve shrimp with butter, boil them with the shells on and save the broth in the freezer. A couple of bottles of clam juice. Lobster shells. All these can be used for the put to make a good fish stock. My friends think I am crazy because I collect any shells when I go to their house to eat seafood.
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