Feasting Part 1: Christmas Eve

It's time to reveal the results from our holiday feasting. 
Get ready for a picture-laden few posts.

We began the cooking with a glass of wassel, followed by a glass of egg nog. Husband received these fancy whisky glasses as a Christmas present from his company. Yay, fancy glasses! 

Egg nog with a dusting of nutmeg.
 Then, we set in on making the squid (Feast of the THREE Fishes fish #1). We bought a half pound of bodies and tentacles at our local Giant Eagle Market District. (We also picked up the baccala there, too.) 

Sliced squid bits.
We fried them, to Anne Burrell's specifications, to a lovely golden brown. They were in a light batter of flour and a little cornstarch.

The plate of delicious fried-up squid bits, with lemon.
This recipe was spot-on. It was fresh, simple and delicious.

How can you not love something deep-friend in peanut oil?

We made a spicy dipping sauce to go with it from adding crushed red pepper flake, garlic, olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice to store-bought marinara sauce. 

Next, we moved on to the pasta bolognese. Shortly after reading through the recipe for the second time, and might I add more carefully, we realized the sauce needed to simmer for three and a half hours

We trudged on, our stomachs full of fried squid bits. 
And what a scrumptious end result! It was a super-long process, but I'm glad we did it. This dish didn't feature any "fish," but it did feature tons of salty parmigiano reggiano cheese.

Eat your pasta heart out. 

While the bolognese sauce was simmering, I went on to the baccala. So, since we all had a history/culinary lesson in my previous post, you know all about baccala. We went through the 48 hours of soaking, changing the water at least two times a day. What a trek!

The result was...not to our taste. It was a little too salty, and a little too fishy. The dish featured baccala and anchovies, fish #2 and #3 of our feast. Sheepishly, I'll admit, I made polenta to accompany it, and that was the hit of the dish. 

We sat down to our meal with a glass of Cabernet. 

For dessert, we indulged further in a treat from the French Patisserie down the street, La Gourmandine. An iced cream puff filled with vanilla pastry cream ON TOP of an iced cream puff filled with vanilla pastry cream? Heck yes! 

 What a perfect way to end a Christmas Eve meal.

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