|Black Tiger shrimp, above, and a frittata with salted cod fish, below, were two of the courses in a hastily improvised Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Day.|
With the meat eaters in the family preparing a Christmas dinner of Cuban roast pork and lamb, I tried to reproduce a Feast of the Seven Fishes with what I had on hand.
A few days earlier, my wife made a canned fish salad with yellowfin tuna, pink salmon and sardines, so I decided to start my seafood meal with that, knocking off three of the seven fish.
|My first course: Canned fish salad with Dijon mustard, lime juice and ground cumin.|
We had plenty of salted cod fish for a fluffy frittata with whole organic eggs, low-fat milk and shredded Italian cheese, topped with fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto, and finished under the broiler.
In the freezer, I also had a box of New Zealand Green Lip mussels, which I popped into the oven for about 15 minutes (under the broiler).
|Mussels with brown rice, black beans and organic diced tomatoes, and vegetables.|
A slice of the cod-fish frittata was my second course, followed by a big plate of mussels, vegetables and organic brown rice with black beans and organic diced tomatoes prepared in an electric cooker.
|Rice, beans and diced tomatoes went into an electric cooker at the same time.|
I should have stopped there, but to get to seven fishes, I had to have a few jumbo shrimp and a piece of salted mackerel fillet with plum concentrate I found at H Mart, a Korean supermarket, and put in the freezer.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes, which originates in Italy, is usually eaten on Christmas Eve.
I threw together my seafood mini-feast after our plans for a multi-course Christmas dinner for 8 at Lotus Cafe in Hackensack fell through when our guests cancelled.
When I mentioned that plan to another friend, he said it reminded him of "A Christmas Story," a movie about a family that had their Christmas dinner in a Chinese restaurant.
I had never seen the film, so I recorded and watched it, discovering a couple of disturbing scenes (see photos below).
|"A Christmas Story" is a 1983 film based on a Jean Shepherd screenplay. In this scene at a Chinese restaurant, the waiters' inability to pronounce the letter "r" is mocked.|
|Here, the restaurant owner has just hacked off the neck and head of the duck the family would be having for Christmas dinner after their turkey was eaten by stray dogs.|