I come from a very large Italian-Irish Catholic family. I’m talking 40 first cousins, so the holidays were a very big deal for us, in every way. We always had a gigantic Antipasto Platter to start the meal. One of my family’s favorite antipastos was the Marinated Mushrooms, so they were the first to disappear. It was all fish and vegetables on Christmas Eve, as the Italian side celebrated the Feast of the Seven Fishes and no meat or cheese was allowed. Italian Catholics believe Christmas Eve to be a fasting day, so their approach is to gorge on seven kinds of seafood instead. Many Italians also feel, as my Gramma Ruocco did, that you shouldn’t pair cheese with fish…ever. This Tomato and Kalamata Olive Baked Salmon Fillets dish stays true to my family’s fish feast, and the piquant and salty topping marries well with the mild, smooth salmon.
I asked the Door to Door Organics clan to give me their families’ favorites, and the response was fantastic. For Bill, Baked Ziti was served every Christmas Eve, and there were always meatballs on the side for those who wanted them. Carole’s family was similar. “For Christmas, we usually have a roast with homemade rolls and possibly ziti or Pierogies, depending on which side of the family was more present (I’m half Italian and one-quarter Ukrainian).” We’re going with the Ukrainians on this one Carole.
Christan told me about Sausage Rolls: “Being a Brit, sausage rolls with hot mustard on Christmas Eve (and a sneak of dry sherry).” You don’t need the sherry…but it couldn’t hurt!
Hanukkah for Andrea was “Latkes all the way. Potato latkes and applesauce. Although I do like the Carrot Scallion latke recipe we have at the Kitchen, too.” Traditional Christmas food for Dave R.? “As a New York Jew, I have to say CHINESE FOOD!!!” Well, then, Dave R., how about some Vegetable Lo Mein?
Lasagna, Chili, and many more were also mentioned. They are all dishes that bring the family holiday traditions to light, and bring everyone around the table, as it should be. Happy Holidays, everyone!