Christmas Eve dinner

What are your plans for dinner on Christmas Eve? My tradition is to have some tamales and a bowl of chili before getting ready to go to Mass.

We don’t have a tradition as such. The family Xmas Day lunch alternates between our house and that of another family member. It is hard work preparing so, if it is our turn, we usually eat something very easy. This year, it’s not us, so an effort will be put in to a four course dinner which, so far, looks like this:

Mixed hors d’oeuvres
Filet de boeuf, pommes boulangere, veg (as yet unknown)
Cheese, chutney, bread
Dessert (probably tarte au citron)

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My family’s tradition growing up was always Chinese takeout. My dad’s family is Jewish and my mom’s Catholic, so maybe Chinese Christmas eve was our hybrid nod to both.

My husband’s family in MN apparently always got takeout platters from Red Lobster, seafood from a landlocked chain being the height of luxury in 1980s Minnesota.

Now, we are gravitating toward a Feast of Sevenish Fishes for our own tradition. This year’s menu looks like this, thus far:
Latkes with smoked salmon belly bacon
Scallop, grapefruit, avocado, pickled red onion salad
Fish Chowder
Garlic roasted shrimp
New York Times’ classic eggnog with lots of booze and raw eggs

Obviously, we’re not afraid to mix and match nationalities and religions!

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We were never allowed to eat before Mass. (Might be one of the reasons I gave up on the church.) And all I recall getting after midnight mass was hot chocolate and marshmallows.

You may not believe this, but this is VERY hard to find in most places in Italy.

You drink this long, long after eating the fishes, right? :cold_sweat:

Several years ago, my niece and her family moved back to Minnesota after spending almost 15 years in California. (She’s more like a little sister since she is only fives years younger than me.) Anyway, we were talking about what we were doing for Christmas Eve dinner. She said they were going to have Chinese takeout. I laughed and told her that in Minnesota, even the Chinese restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve. They ended up with reheating frozen lasgna. (Her mom, my sister, was a terrible cook and so is my niece.)

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Yeah, no claim any of this is authentic. We just spent the morning dying Ukrainian eggs to hang on our tree. American melting pot much?

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Somehow I’m not sure a suggestion of Red Lobster will float their boats…

Our family tradition in KC growing up was Chili and chips.
when I lived in scottsdale it was Tamales, and now here in Oregon it has been Dungeness Crab, but I’m afraid of it this year,
so who knows? :smiley:

Big-Ass Fish Sandwiches & Chips here. I’s my GF’s favorite.


When I lived in Oregon our Christmas Eve was spent working our butts off serving the buffet line at the Cascade Dining Room at Timberline Lodge. Then I had to be up to open the kitchen the next morning. So Oregon memories involved a lot of work. Fun but man it was hard work.

This year it’s lasagna and some kind of dessert - maybe tiramisu…

My husband’s family had no specific traditional Christmas Eve dinner and I’m thoroughly Italian so it was only natural that I would take over. Right? Right.

Since I was born my family had seafood for dinner on the Eve. It may not have been seven fishes, but it still was a lightish meal, and when I married I more or less carried on that tradition. No eel or baccala though. This year we’ll have:

Smoked Bluefish Pate w Sesame Crackers w Drinks
Aglio Olio w Capelli d’Angelo, Topped w Seared Scallops
Roast Monkfish w Black Olives
Caesar Salad
Prosecco to accompany
No dessert. That’s for Christmas Day.


What part or parts of Italy does your family come from?

My Mother was born in Andria Puglia but the family moved to Trieste when she was a little girl, then eventually to Boston. She went to the Conservatory in Naples after graduation here in Boston.

Although my father and his siblings were born in Massachusetts his parents etc, came from Torre le Nocelle Abruzzo.

Have you had Puritan & Co’s? It’s my favorite- I can’t eat there and not order it.

My family is Italian-American we jettisoned the 7 fishes long ago but we usually have some seafood - shrimp and crab cocktail for starts and probably lobster tails along with some sort of roast or steak as the main protein. The whole thing is mom not sure what is planned though. Xmas eve is just the immediate family so a more elegant sit down event compared the the mayhem that is xmas.

My FiL was in Trieste post World War 2, as part of the army of occupation. He went back about 10 years ago and was pleased to recognise some of his old haunts.

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I associate eating fish on Christmas Eve with southern Italy, so that’s why I asked. [quote=“Gio, post:15, topic:2769”]
his parents etc, came from Torre le Nocelle Abruzzo.

There are lots of tiny Italian towns with the same name, but the only Torre le Nocelle that Google knows is in Campania (in the province of Avellino, home of wonderful white wine).

Where in Italy is your family from? I have long wished I could sample the “sette pesci”, but it just isn’t done around the places I hang out. Last year I was in Florence and I saw a restaurant advertise it, but I was already committed to a big Christmas lunch, and I was afraid of food overload – not to mention I don’t think of Florence as a great destination for fresh fish – but it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility.

This Christmas, I will be on the northern mediterranean coast of Italy for Christmas and am booked into a fixed-menu lunch in a seaside restaurant, but I didn’t ask what was on the fixed menu. It being a special occasion, I am almost certain that the meal will be meat, meat and more meat, since they eat fish all the time, so what’s so special or festive about fish? :expressionless:

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My great-grandmother was from Abruzzi and it is mostly her and her sisters cooking that was handed down (I have her chitarra) but we have been from The Bronx for generations now.