Thursday, November 29, 2007

Festive Food Fair 2007

Well, with the end of the year comes a slew of holidays, and that means a slew of food! Christmas cookies, roasted turkey, latkes and samosas aside, for this year's Festive Food Fair at Morsels and Musings I'm focusing on a lesser-known, Italian Catholic celebration: The Feast of the Seven Fishes.


The origins of this holiday vary, but the basic foundation was that meat was not eaten on Christmas Eve since it was the birth of Christ. Like abstaining from meat on Good Friday, one would not eat meat on Christmas Eve. Why 7 types of fish? Some say it is because it took 7 days to create the universe. Others claim it was for the 7 disciples. Here is another take on the holiday from Stephencooks, complete with a menu.


So, as part of our feast this year, I have a recipe that I've playfully named Fishes for Loaves (of course, playing off of the Loaves and Fishes story). Tender cod fillets are poached in a spicy wine, tomato and caper sauce before being garnished with cilantro. All in all, wonderful way to spice up the Catholic Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Fishes for Loaves
Serves 12
1/8 cup olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 28oz cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 cup roasted red pepper strips, drained
2 ½ cups dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 cups sliced stuffed green olives
¾ cup drained capers
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 (6 ounce) fillets cod or halibut
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft.
  3. Stir in garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, red peppers, wine, stock, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes. Heat to a simmer, cook 5 minutes.
  5. Place fish into sauce.
  6. Cover, and gently simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  7. Transfer fish to a serving plate, and keep warm.
  8. Increase the heat and boil until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in butter and cilantro. Serve sauce over fish.
As far as calories and fat go, it's a holiday! I wouldn't worry about it soooo much, but it isn't actually that bad (come on, this is no deep-fried turkey!).


Amount Per Serving
Calories: 339.3
Total Fat: 12.9 g
Cholesterol: 98.8 mg
Sodium: 1,023.6 mg
Total Carbs: 8.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 40.5 g

1 comment :

Laurie Constantino said...

We do 7 fishes every Christmas eve (although I'll admit we don't always make it through all seven courses -- something to do with the champagne we always have with it!) Beautiful recipe and it sounds quite tasty. The cilantro is an unusual addition, but I'll bet it tastes great!