December 21, 2020 by Michael Davis No Comments

Christmas Eve Feast of 7 fishes

We are here to help you with planning your feast of 7 fishes, or for anytime for that matter, enjoy some seafood.  Here we have some tasty treats for you.  We have come up with 15 recipes for you.  4 appetizers, 3 soups, 2 salads and 5 entree options for you to choose from.  

christmas eve feast

Salmon Lobster Napolean with Artichoke and Lobster Sauce

We trust that your fish feastival this year will be loaded with more than 7 fishes or at least we have given you that many selections to choose from.

What a wonderful time of year.  Christmas is the season and Christ birth is the reason for the season.  I always took great joy on Christmas eve and thought it was a great time to celebrate with family and friends. We would go to a candle light service and sing carols.  Often we would get together afterwards and share a dessert and hot cocoa.

I am not Catholic, but have many friends who are Catholic.  My Catholic friends would talk about all the fish they would eat.  I often thought it was just a tradition that they observed.  Lately I learned more about it.  A tradition yes, but steeped in Southern Italian Culture.  The Vigil or La Vigilia is what they would call it.  Here in the states it is refferred to as the "Feast of the 7 Fishes" 

The tradition, for them, was a representation like that which they celebrate for lenten.  During the 40 days of lenten the Catholic tradition is to refrain from eating meat, or something special to them.  The idea is that by denying themselves of pleasure they would share in Christ suffering in that they would be drawn nearer to Him.

For Christmas Eve, "The Feast of the 7 fishes" is like a grand celebration of things to come.  Christs birth which is His gift to all of us. Yet through His death He gave us even more.  Christmas for us we give to each other because of His gift to us.  The "Feast of the 7 fishes" is a grand celebration representative to this, gift and sacrifice. 

feast of 7 fish

Polenta Breaded Chilean Sea Bass with Clam Jus

Meat is skipped and replaced with the fishes. At one time fish wasn't percieved as it is today.  If you ate fish it was more out of necessity because it was plain, white flaky fish that was probably over cooked.  This isn't a very appealing image. The 7 fishes is thought to be because 7 is the perfect number.  There isn't much relavence to that.

Today if you think of fish: fish and chips, seafood platter, grilled lobster tail, boiled lobster, crab cakes, broiled scallops, fish cakes, oyster stew, New England Clam Chowda, Manhattan Clam Chowder, salmon, halibut, swordfish, tuna, bakala, steamed clams, clams casino, oysters rockefeller, clams and oysters on the half shell, shrimp, shrimp scampi.  This is just the begginning of the list.

I grew up in the Boston area and developed a fond love for seafood.  I would here people talking about some of the different dishes they would do.  I know Tuna meatballs was one that I thought was very interesting.  Canned tuna was the main ingredient.  I never did have one, they are pretty tasty I am sure.

More than the 7 Fishes recipe

Enclosed here you will find 15 seafood recipes.  There should be something for everyone to enjoy. 

Soups

  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Oyster Stew
  • Manhattan Clam Chowder

Appetizers

  • Spinach and Crab Dip with Cheese
  • Maryland Style Crab Cakes
  • Salmon Bacon
  • Shrimp or Seafood Arancini

Salads

  • Calamari Salad
  • Bakala

Entrees

  • Pastrami Smoked Salmon
  • White Clam sauce with Angel Hair Pasta
  • Boston Baked Cod
  • Ginger Seared Salmon
  • Shrimp Scampi with Fettucini

 If you are looking for other ideas for salads, soups, appetizers go to our recipes page for a more ideas.  For some other resources check out this article in Italy Magazine

A Chef Smiley with a turkey.

Happy Holidays!

A Christmas smiley ringing a bell.
A bowl of delicious beef and barley soup with carrots, tomato, potato, celery, and peas.

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