Around the world on Christmas Eve, families gather together pray and to cook and enjoy a traditional family meal. There are many traditions that are practiced on Christmas Eve in various countries; they have their own special customs associated with it. Some of the commonly practiced Christmas Eve traditions are a attending church service, touring the neighborhood, looking out for Santa, cooking and eating a traditional Christmas meal, decking the house and the Christmas tree, donating to charity, delivering the Christmas gifts and cards etc. among others. Besides this, you can come up with your own traditions for your family and friends to follow and celebrate this joyous festival. Christmas Eve dinner is an integral tradition that is followed in many parts of the world. Though every country has their traditional menus and recipes, the essence of the entire family gathering together to cook, eat and enjoy the food is universal. The Christmas Eve menu can differ depending on what your family loves to eat, though it will be wonderful to include some of the traditional dishes in your Christmas Eve dinner menu.
Try cooking an assortment of dishes on Christmas Eve for your loved ones. It will be better if you can gather all of them in the kitchen to help you out in cooking the special Christmas Eve menu.
In some places like Italy, people abstain from the consumption of meat and milk products on this day. On Christmas Eve they have the Feast of Seven Fishes where fish and other seafood fried in oil is eaten. Some of the Christmas Eve dinner recipes are given below:
Wild Salmon in Basil Cream
2 cups fish stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
6 Tbsp fresh basil leaves (minced)
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt (according to taste)
4 10-oz. salmon steaks
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups fish stock
2 large celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, sliced
2 3x1/4-inch strip lemon peel
4 whole black peppercorns
3 large parsley sprigs
1 large crumbled bay leaf
- To prepare the cream put a skillet over medium flame and melt the butter.
- Put in the basil leaves and stir until the leaf sags, next put in the wine, and simmer until condensed by half.
- Put in the stock and simmer for three minutes, insert the cream, salt, black and white pepper.
- Keep simmering till the mixture is lessened to 3/4 cup.
- In the meantime arrange the salmon. For this mix the vegetables in another heavy large skillet and bring it to boil.
- Place the salmon in a single layer on top of the vegetables.
- Cover the skillet and keep cooking until salmon turns opaque, drain it.
- To serve put 3 Tbsp. sauce in center of each plate and spread it evenly.
- Place the salmon steak in center of each plate and garnish with basil and lemon.
Beef Loin Strip Roast (Steakhouse Roast)
One beef strip roast, about 3.5 pounds
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
- Spruce the roast but leave a thin layer of fat on the top.
- Rub the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt on the roast.
- Preheat oven to 450° F and place it on a rack in a small roasting pan or large ovenproof skillet.
- Place the skillet or the rack in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
- Next reduce the temperature to 350° and roast, darning occasionally the juices in the pan, until the desired dryness is obtained.
- Remove from the pan and place on a cutting surface and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Carve the meat into thin or medium-thick slices, as desired and serve.
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. milk
1 C. whipping cream
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
8-oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 C. raspberry flavor liqueur
2 small or 1 medium pound cakes
10-oz. frozen red raspberries in syrup, melted
- With the back of a wooden spoon, press the melted raspberries through a medium sieve set on top a small bowl, put in the liqueur to the liquid in bowl and blend well.
- In a big bowl, mix the milk, cream cheese, sugar and put it in a mixer to blend it smooth. Put the whipping cream in the mixer and beat it until it turns soft foamy, and then smoothly fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- With the help of a saw-like knife, cut the cake cross-wise in three layers. Put 1 layer of cake, to a plate, through a pastry brush, brush 1/3 of the raspberry syrup over the cake and consistently spread 1 cup cream cheese filling over the top.
- Place the second layer of cake, over filling and brush half of syrup over cake and top it with 1 cup filling and 3/4 cup raspberries.
- Put the remaining cake layer, over raspberries and brush it with the rest of the syrup over the cake, and top it up with the remaining filling. Cover it and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. To serve, spread out the rest of the 1/4 cup raspberries over cake and decorate with chocolate curls.
Creamy Seafood Chowder
2 cups heavy cream
1 quart fish broth
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled
1/2 pound firm white-fleshed fish fillets, cut into small cubes
- Put the red peppers and garlic in a processor and make a puree.
- Let the broth and potatoes boil in a large saucepan, reduce heat to medium and cook till the potatoes are tender.
- Put in the scallops, shrimp and fish.
- Cook until fish is done and the shrimp turns pink which will take about 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper and garlic puree, the sherry and the cream and keep on cooking just until hot; do not boil.
- Taste for seasoning and serve immediately, garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.
Baked Beans for Christmas Eve
1/2 kg of tetovac beans
300 g chopped onion
Salt, oil, pepper and paprika according to taste
- Cook the beans twenty minutes in water.
- Next drain the beans and boil it again in fresh water and boil for about 35-40 minutes.
- Put some paprika and a little pepper to the beans when it's cooked and fry the onion in a little oil.
- In an ovenproof deep dish put a layer of beans, a one layer of onion, one layer beans, and another layer of onion, and stop with the layer of beans at the top.
- After that, pour enough of the second water, where the beans were boiled on top of the beans.
- Leave this for a while and then put the dish in the oven preheated at 220o c. degrees.
- Take it out after 40 minutes, allow it cool and then serve.