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Feast of the Seven Fishes Menu

Galavante Goes Holiday Gourmet: An Upscale Feast of the Seven Fishes
By , Cooling Your Jets Contributor
December 2, 2012

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American celebration on Christmas Eve, is a meal any food-lover would go crazy over. We’ve turned the classic feast into a luxurious tasting menu filled with festive, five-star ingredients. Since no one wants to spend the holidays stuck in the kitchen while your family and friends are having all the fun, we’ve created seven seafood-based courses with lots of make-ahead components, so you can complete a majority of the work before your guests arrive.

If you’ve never served a tasting menu to a crowd before, we encourage you to try this one: the progression of flavors, temperatures, and textures will be sure to delight and keep everyone in the holiday spirit.

East Coast Oysters with Champagne Mignonette

Ingredients

3 tablespoons shallots, minced

4 tablespoons Champagne vinegar, chilled

2 tablespoons Champagne or other sparkling wine, chilled

18 East Coast oysters, such as Moonstone, Island Creek, Wellfleet, or Blue Point, scrubbed well

Directions

Champagne is a must when celebrating the holiday season; it also serves as the ideal mate for fresh, briny oysters and adds a special touch to a classic mignonette sauce. Be sure to keep your oysters on ice in your refrigerator before serving. After shucking, be careful not to spill any of the delicious liquor that accompanies the meat.

Yield: 6 servings

In a small bowl, add shallots, vinegar, and champagne. Stir well. Divide mixture between 6 small serving cups.

Shuck oysters and remove any excess bits of shell or sand that line rim of oyster. Place on ice and serve immediately with mignonette.

Lemon Blinis with Caviar, Crème Fraîche, and Chives

Ingredients

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

3/4 cup whole milk, lukewarm

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, separated

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

vegetable oil, as needed

1/3 cup crème fraîche

1 tablespoon chives, minced

4–5 oz caviar

Directions

High quality caviar needs no accessories, but these lemon-tinged blinis are light treats that add just the right touch. A small dollop of crème fraîche and chives adds creaminess and a kick. Just be sure to buy more caviar than the recipe requires, so when your guests leave, you can indulge in a few extra bites with an after-dinner cocktail. 

Yield: 6 servings

In a medium bowl, sprinkle yeast into milk and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Add zest, salt, sugar, yogurt, butter, and egg yolk and mix well. Add flour and mix. Cover with saran and allow to stand for 2–3 hours.

In a small bowl, mix together crème fraîche and chives. Cover with saran and refrigerate.

In a small bowl, add egg white and a pinch of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg white into batter.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or crepe pan to medium-high. Brush skillet with oil and pour 1 tablespoon of batter per blini onto pan. Cook until small bubbles start to form, about 1 minute, and flip. (Blini should be a light golden brown.) Cook an additional 45 seconds and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Working in batches, cook additional blinis. Serve immediately with chilled crème fraîche and caviar or cover blinis and reheat in 375˚F oven for 5 minutes.

Scallop Crudo with Jalapeno, Lemon Zest, Shallot and Cilantro

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar

1/4 cup tablespoons lime juice

2 lemons, zested and juiced

3 tablespoons shallots, minced

2 tablespoons Jalapeno, minced

3/4 lb raw scallops, adductor muscle removed, sliced very thinly crosswise

3 tablespoons cilantro, minced

Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

This is easy to prepare but refreshing and, due to the citrus and bit of heat, will serve as a palate cleanser between courses. Be sure to chill your serving plates ahead of time to keep everything ice-cold and try serving the dish with a dry Riesling.

In a small bowl, add oil, vinegar, lime juice, lemon zest and juice, shallots, and jalapeño. Mix well.

Divide scallops evenly among 6 chilled serving plates. Drizzle citrus on top. Season with salt and garnish with cilantro. 

Cold Lobster Salad with Truffle and Tarragon

Ingredients

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon truffle oil

3 tablespoons tarragon, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

2 1/2 lb cooked lobster meat, diced into large pieces

20 leaves Bibb lettuce

4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste 

Directions

Lobster is a festive ingredient. It can turn even the most ordinary into something special (think mac and cheese, for one) and paired with truffle, it’s sure to please a holiday crowd. This version is light but decadent, and the tarragon is a must. Don’t be shy when seasoning the dish, because the right amount of salt and pepper will make a huge difference in taste.

Yield: 6 servings

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, truffle oil, tarragon, and parsley and mix well. Season well with salt and pepper. Add lobster meat and gently combine. Wrap and chill until serving.

Divide bibb lettuce leaves evenly between 6 chilled serving plates. Sprinkle with almonds and top with a large spoonful of lobster salad. 

Mustard and Dill Herring on Pumpernickel Canapés

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup shallots, minced

3 cups mushrooms, minced

2 tablespoons tarragon, minced

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 1/2 cups cooked spinach

1 1/2 lb center-cut skinless salmon filets, about 1–1 1/2’’ thick, cut into 6 equal pieces

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons capers, rinsed well

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

Pickled herring can be an acquired taste, but this will be just the introduction to this Scandinavian favorite. In our book, New York’s Russ & Daughters is the holy grail of smoked and pickled fish and, luckily, they ship nationwide.

Yield: 6 servings

In a small bowl, mix together mustard, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons oil. Lay herring, skin side down, on a plate and brush generously with sauce. Wrap with saran and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Using a 2’’ round cookie cutter, cut out 20 rounds of bread. Brush both sides lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place rounds on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for8–10 minutes, until crispy.

Brush herring with sauce again and place on pumpernickel. Sprinkle with dill and top each canapé with a slice of onion. 

Seared Shrimp with Thai basil, Chili, and Coconut Milk

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 3 inches only, thinly sliced

1 Red Thai chili, thinly sliced

1 can coconut milk

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons Thai basil, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

For the final course you have to end on a high note, and this combination of salty, tangy, spicy, and a hint of sweet will surely do the trick. Be sure to buy the largest shrimp you can find and don’t rush in cooking the sauce – time will only help develop the flavors and add layers to the dish.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan and add garlic and ginger. Sauté on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Add lemongrass, chili, and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half. Strain and return sauce to pan. Add lemon juice, 1 tablespoons basil, and cilantro. Season with salt and keep warm.

Pat shrimp dry and season with salt. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high. Add shrimp and sauté until just cooked through, about 2–3 minutes per side.

Divide sauce evenly among 6 bowls. Add 2 shrimp per bowl and garnish with remaining tablespoon basil. Serve immediately. 

Mini Salmon Wellington with Caper Cream

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup shallots, minced

3 cups mushrooms, minced

2 tablespoons tarragon, minced

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 1/2 cups cooked spinach

1 1/2 lb center-cut skinless salmon filets, about 1–1 1/2’’ thick, cut into 6 equal pieces

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons capers, rinsed well

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon parsley, minced

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

After a parade of chilled dishes, this straight-from-the-oven puff pastry masterpiece will be a show stopper. It’s sublimely rich but also quite delicate. Be sure to keep a close eye while it’s in the oven, though, because you don’t want to burn the pastry or overcook the fish.

Yield: 6 servings

In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add butter. When foam has subsided, add shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until liquid has been released, about 6–7 minutes. Add tarragon and sauté for 2 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Place puff pastry on cutting board and slice into 6 equal pieces. Divide spinach and mushroom mixture into 6 equal portions.  Place 1 portion of spinach in center of each pastry piece. Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper and place on spinach. Spoon mushroom evenly on top of salmon. Fold both ends of puff pastry like a letter so the parcel in completely sealed. Flip parcel over and brush with egg.  Place parcels on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, leaving room in between each. Gently score with a knife, but be careful not to cut entirely through pastry. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, until pastry is golden brown.

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, add cream. Cook until cream is reduced by half. Add capers and mustard and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Add parsley and black pepper. Serve with salmon.

 

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