Christmas Eve Tradition

Two years in a row is the start of a tasty tradition – swordfish for Christmas Eve dinner!  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I’m a big fan of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, and the dinner we enjoyed last night came straight from Ina!  (I wonder if I’m her biggest fan??)

Sicilian Swordfish and Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese

Sicilian Swordfish_Baked Polenta

Sicilian Swordfish_Baked Polenta

Sicilian Swordfish:  Pat dry, light olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.  Sear a couple of minutes each side on a hot grill.  Remove to a platter, poke all over each piece with the tines of a fork, then drizzle lemon vinaigrette over each piece, cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes.

(Lemon Vinaigrette:  Olive Oil/Fresh squeezed lemon juice [2/1], pinch each of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a teaspoon of dried oregano [or two teaspoons of fresh chopped.)

To serve – place one piece of swordfish on each plate, top with arugula, and drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of the lemon vinaigrette fish sauce.  Top with some grated lemon zest.

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese: Start by cleaning (soft wet cloth) medium or large size Portobello mushrooms (6-8).  Place on sheet pan (top side down,) drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400F until tender, then set aside.

Bring 2 cups half-half and 2-1/2 cups chicken stock to a boil.  While whisking constantly, sprinkle 3/4 cup fine cornmeal into boiling liquid.  Continue stirring (almost constantly) with a wooden spoon until creamy consistency (6-8 minutes.)  Off the heat, stir in 1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese.  Pour polenta into a baking dish (medium size) and top with mushrooms (top side down.)  Finish with 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, sprinkled all over the top.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes until a bit bubbly and starts to turn golden brown.  Let rest for a few minutes – and enjoy!

This was my first attempt at making polenta at home – and aside from the constant attention to stirring (similar to making risotto,) it’s so easy.  Once you achieve a creamy consistency, you could add in grated Parmesan cheese or any other element of flavor as you wish.

I hope you’ll try one of these delicious recipes yourself.  My point in sharing some recipes that aren’t my original creation is to provide pairing ideas, to let you in on easy delicious meals you can replicate in your own kitchen, and to open the door to your own creativity by starting with a published recipe – then making it your own!  Buon Appetito!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment on “Christmas Eve Tradition”

  1. Derek says:

    Hi Joe! Hope You and Mike had a great Christmas. Happy new year. This is making me hungry! I thought I had seen every one of Ina’s shows but somehow missed this one. Will try it soon. Miss you.


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