Oh hello there.
You thought I'd forgotten about you, didn't you? But no, I have just been in a seafood induced stupor, which I am just barely coming out of. Ergh. I just ended a sentence with a preposition, but I'm just too damned worn out to try to fix it.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes was a success. Much booze, much fun, much children excited for Santa, much good friends and much fishes.
Here is the menu, which I promised you last week, and am just now getting around to sharing...
Lemon Martinis/Martinis/Wine/Good beer
Fish #1- Salmon Tartar
Fish #2 - Mussels & Basil Bread Crumbs
Octopus Salad (what Mommy calls the Pulpu)
Scallops with Basil Stuffing on a Bed of Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette
Linguine Frutti di Mare (Linguini with Seafood Sauce)
Baccala Alla Vesuviana (Salt Cod With Tomatoes and Capers)
Roasted Shrimp with Feta
Whew. I really have to say, it all turned out very well. I'm afraid that the roasted shrimp was a tad underroasted. And by underroasted, I mean raw. This was due, I hate to say, to the fact that by the time we reached this point of the meal, yours truly may have imbibed one too many Lemon Martini, and wasn't paying good attention. Oops. But otherwise, it all came out very well. Particularly the scallops, which got raves, and honestly should have been stinking excellent, considering I could have paid the gas bill with the amount of cash I coughed up for them. Here is the really SIMPLE recipe...
Scallops with Basil Stuffing
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. scallops (the really good, fat ones, the ones that you ask the fish man for, not really looking at the price per pound, and then when he rings it up, you stare at the price and start to hyperventilate)
Mince the basil, garlic, salt and pepper together until very fine. I used the old fashioned mortar and pestle that Mommy gave me. Mix in a small bowl, or cup with 2 tbsp. olive oil.
Make a deep horizontal slit in the side of each scallop, but don't cut all the way through. Fill each scallop with about 1 tsp. of the basil mixture; close. Pour the remaining oil onto a plate or pan, and turn each scallop in it, then place on a broiler pan.
Broil the scallops for 2 to 3 minutes per side, no more. (Or grill them, which would have been excellent, but I was too damned lazy to go stand outside grilling while all the fun was being had inside.)
I served them on a bed of arugula and endive (which I insist on pronouncing ahn-deeve, just because I can) with a Lemon Vinaigrette - 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts olive oil, salt, pepper.
Serves 4. You may do the math re: how many pounds I had to buy to feed 11!
I will only brag on my sweet boy once here. I swear.
On Christmas Eve morning, before he ran in to play video games, Jude sat down at his little desk and made...a birthday card for Jesus. Couldn't you just die.
I fear he is just not an artist. But I particularly like the little "You" with an arrow to the baby. He put the card under the tree next to the nativity scene. Very dear.
No one gave me a Snuggie. It's sad. I keep asking. Nobody gives me one. I can't decide if people just think that I'm joking or if they think I'm too good for one. It must be something like that, or surely somebody would give me one by now. Come to think of it, nobody's ever given me a Chia Pet either. Always wanted one of them too.
Jimmy did, however, give me that scarf I've been dying for (I actually got the card from the store, and wrote the name of the scarf with the color I wanted on it, and handed it to the man - sometimes you've just got to take care of yourself.), a gift certificate for a massage (which I NEED) and a gift certificate for Barnes and Noble, which I'm looking forward to using. My sister-in-law gave me a fabulous cookbook from Cook's Magazine. And my friend and Christmas Eve guest Laura gave me this cool trio of kitchen products- hand soap, dish soap and counter cleaner in a little holder thing, which I'm strangely excited about - I keep finding reasons to clean the kitchen counter. She reads this blog, so I'm going to count this as her thank you note. And my friends and other Christmas Eve guests, Scott and Melissa, always bring me a new bottle of special bourbon every year. This year's treat is Black Maple Hill...
We spent Christmas Day at our friends Pat and Debra's house. They always do a fabulous meal, and their home in the Hollywood Hills is lovely and warm. And I'm always so stinking exhausted that I love that I can just sit there and do NOTHING. Pat (Patsy) is an amazing Italian chef, who also does outstanding meats, and Debra handles all the "American" food and the desserts. Jude blew me away by eating a gigantic plate of gnocchi with sauce and prime rib. He loves Uncle Pat's cooking! I've posted Pat's videos before, but here's his take on a simple tomato sauce...
Patsy also made me what I think may become my new favorite cocktail, a Negroni. It's a really old-fashioned cocktail, that's kind of bitter and strange. An acquired taste, but then pretty addicting. Mmmm...
1 part gin
1 part Campari
1 part Sweet Vermouth
Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice, and serve straight up in a martini glass. Garnish with a curl of orange peel.
I think I'll need to buy some Campari tomorrow!
A couple of years ago, we started this sweet/silly tradition in our little family. On holiday nights, we let Jude sleep in bed with us. So that makes FOUR bodies in the same bed, because our little dog Fancy always sleeps on my feet. But I'm afraid that this is gonna have to come to a stop soon. On Christmas night, we all snuggled in and watched the Marx Brothers Duck Soup, then went to sleep. I swear, Jude must have rolled over and hit me in the head 4 times during the night, Jimmy was snoring like mad, and the dog wouldn't get off my feet. And on top of that, I woke up a couple of times with my hormonal night sweats. NOT a festive night.
Last night, after an absolutely BRILLIANTLY lazy day, Jude and I ventured to downtown LA, and went ice skating with his Cub Scout pack. And by "Jude and I" went ice skating, I mean Jude went ice skating. I stood on the side of the rink and waved in support. Middle-aged Texas Woman = NOT ice skater. However, Little Californian Boy = Pretty decent and scrappy ice skater. No points for form, but he manages to stay on his feet and have a lot of fun. I'm thinking we might head down there again later in the week. Anybody else in?
Remember those 15 pounds that I lost with Weight Watchers? Well, about 5 of them have come home again, thanks to all this feasting. January 2? Back on the WW. Damn.
That's it for now. Damn, I wish I had some of that Campari. Sounds so good...
Y'all head on over to visit Stacy for the usual Tuesday randomness.