While the origin of the Feast of Seven Fishes is the subject of some debate, what is not up for discussion is how delicious this Italian-American tradition can make your holiday season. This slow-paced dinner can consist of seven or twelve courses, may or may not involve exactly seven kinds of fish, and usually includes at least one pasta course. Depending on the cook, it can take weeks or even months to plan.
Italians know how to celebrate Christmas Eve! Tradition holds that no meat should be consumed on Christmas Eve (vigilia di Natale), so Italians eat seafood.
We Penguins have longed admired this mouthwatering tradition and the inherent challenge of organizing such a feast, so we teamed up with our friends at Clean Catch Fish Market to throw one of our own for QC Exclusive Magazine. After doing some rec-ipe research for a few days, we stocked our coolers with the freshest fish and shellfish around and headed to the Igloo Test Kitchen to get cooking.
We collaborated with Clean Catch’s chef Charlie Reid in the preparation of each dish, starting with grilled sardines and finishing with a luscious king crab cioppino. In between came “Murder Ink” pasta, grilled lobster, bavette and prawns, and a brandied lobster chowder finished with black sea salt.
What we gained from our first take at this feast—which will certainly not be our last—goes way beyond the delicious food and the new recipes we now have on file. The cadence of this meal offers a subtle reminder that the holidays are better when not rushed, and best spent around the table with the ones you love. Mangia!
Fish No. 1: Grilled Sardines
Fish No. 2: Murder Ink Pasta
Fish No. 3: Grilled Lobster
Fish No. 4: Bavette & Prawns
Fish No. 5: Lobster Chowder
Fish No. 6: Murder Ink Pasta
Fish No. 7: King Crab Cioppino