Holiday Feasting (Day Six)

December 29th, 2014 § 0 comments

Feast of the Seven (approximately) Jewish (almost) Fishes. The HG/BSK family borrows from the Italian Catholic tradition of a seven fish feast on Christmas Eve. BSK and Gifted Daughter Lesley R. are skilled hands with chowders, oyster stews, etc. HG specializes in sautéed and fried fish. But, on Christmas Eve, the family feasts on the smoked fish products of Russ & Daughters, the venerable shop on New York’s Lower East Side. As usual, SJ was the first person on line, waiting for the store to open at 9 AM, Dec. 24 (the line grows to as many as 200 hungry New Yorkers). Here’s what SJ provided: Velvety, gently saline, raw Dutch herring (this is seasonal and is only found at R & D and Grand Central Oyster Bar); Gaspe Nova Scotia smoked salmon; Pastrami cured smoked salmon; sable; red salmon caviar from Alaska; smoked yellowfin tuna; paddlefish caviar (from USA); Japanese wasabi Tobiko caviar (flying fish roe); whitefish salad. Accompanying these wonders were Lesley R.’s sublime blini and gossamer thin crepes. Plus traditional bialys and bagels, of course. Scallion cream cheese. Horseradish cream cheese (disappointingly bland). Sour cream. Creme fraiche. Sliced and chopped sweet onion. Kalamata olives. Capers. Bubbie’s Pickles. Lemon wedges. Two salads–hearts of palm and cherry tomatoes; celeriac in lemony mayonnaise. To drink: White wine, Bass Ale, Guinness Stout. Finale: Limoncello. Chocolate truffles. Peanut brittle. There is an added benefit. This meal is repeated as a Christmas dinner after an arduous day of opening presents. The day after Christmas Day is when the HG/BSK family schedules a dinner featuring red wines and brisket or osso buco. Eccentric, yes, but eminently satisfying.


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