Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

As 2013 draws to a close we celebrated with some fabulous comfort food beginning with a Christmas Eve cioppino dinner with a few friends. A nice casual evening featuring our honored guests the “seven fishes” beginning with appetizers of smoked salmon, hot crab dip, and Marti’s special “gold fish” recipe making it the feast of 8 fishes.

I guess you have to be Italian to really appreciate it and all of the good food that comes with the feast. Many changes in my “Eve”menus over the years, but nothing is more special than my favorite cioppino featuring the freshest seafood right off or just a short distance from the local fishermen’s boats.   A special thanks to all of our local and very hard working fisherman and in particular today, Cap’n Willis’.  I’ll sure miss them as they begin their 2 month winter vacation ~ Happy New Year Cap’n Willis crew!

photCioppino seafood

Fresh scallops, grouper, shrimp and clams in a mellow broth that included freshly roasted tomatoes,  lobster and shrimp stock, and clam juice.  Served with crusty Italian bread for sopping up the broth.  Use local mild fish of choice and add in a little lump crab meat to each serving instead of Dungeness crab.

Christmas Eve Panzanella 2

I also served a beautiful heirloom tomato panzanella instead of my usual “Italian” dressed salad and we topped off the evening with 2 kinds of cannoli  and sips of homemade limoncello…

It was a fantastic night with friends!

Notes for the recipes are almost ready to post, but my favorite cioppino begins with a highly adapted version of Michael Mina’s look in recipes/seafood at the top of the page…