Feast on fish this Christmas Eve

Forget turkey or ham — at the Scottos' Christmas Eve table, fish take center stage. The family members behind the Fresco by Scotto restaurant in New York City share their traditional Christmas Eve recipes.

Marinated seafood salad
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Rating:
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Servings:
8 servings

Ingredients

  • For marinade

    • 2 cups white wine
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 quarts water
    • 2 pounds fresh cod filets, cut into 2 x2-inch squares
    • 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
    • 1 pound mussels, cleaned and removed from shells
    • 1 pound lump crabmeat
    • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
    • 1/2 cup julienned onions
    • 1/2 cup julienned celery
  • For vinaigrette

    • 2 cups white wine
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 quarts water
    • 2 pounds fresh cod filets, cut into 2 x2-inch squares
    • 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
    • 1 pound mussels, cleaned and removed from shells
    • 1 pound lump crabmeat
    • 1/2 cup julienned carrots
    • 1/2 cup julienned onions
    • 1/2 cup julienned celery
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
    • 1/4 cup red wine
    • 1/2 cup chopped garlic
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 cup orange, segmented, pith and peel removed
    • 2 cups pulp-free orange juice

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large pot, place the white wine, peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaves, lemon juice, and 3 quarts of water. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer. Add the cod and simmer for 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove cod from liquid, place in covered bowl and refrigerate. Bring the liquid to a simmer again, add the shrimp, calamari, and mussels. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink, then remove seafood from liquid, place in covered bowl and refrigerate. Using the same water, parboil the carrots, onions, and celery for 1 minute. Drain and cool the vegetables. For vinaigrette:In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine, chopped garlic, and parsley.Once the seafood is chilled, place in large bowl and add the vegetables, orange segments, and orange juice. Dress with the prepared vinaigrette, re-season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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Rating:
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Servings:
6 servings

Ingredients

    • 1 pound dry imported linguini, spaghetti or tagliolini
    • 3 lobsters, 1 1/2 pounds each, steamed or broiled (or 11/2 pounds cleaned and cooked lobster meat)
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, sliced thin
    • 2 shallots, peeled, finely minced
    • 6 whole plum Italian tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice
    • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce
    • 1 tablespoon hot chili pepper flakes or chopped fresh hot chili
    • 1/4 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
    • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
    • 1/2 cup fresh chopped oregano
    • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Bring large pot of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons salt. Crack lobster shells and remove meat. Cut tails into ½-inch chunks and claws into thirds; set aside. In a large saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until smoking. Add garlic and shallots, toast until lightly brown. Add fresh chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, then add red pepper flakes and white wine.Begin to cook pasta, and then add lobster meat, fresh herbs and scallions to sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Drain pasta but do not rinse. Place pasta in a large serving bowl, add sauce, toss and serve immediately.

Christmas napoleon
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Rating:
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Servings:
6 servings

Ingredients

  • Fresh berries

    • 2 quarts whole strawberries, cleaned, tops removed
  • Cannoli cream

    • 2 quarts whole strawberries, cleaned, tops removed
    • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese (buy dryer brand)
    • 1/2 cup super fine sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Pastry sheets

    • 2 quarts whole strawberries, cleaned, tops removed
    • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese (buy dryer brand)
    • 1/2 cup super fine sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1 box filo dough, store-bought
    • 1 pound melted butter

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon and orange zests, and chocolate chips until well combined. Brush warm butter evenly across a sheet of filo dough, then sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Place another sheet on top, pressing down firmly with your hands to push the two filo sheets together. Repeat until you have 4 sheets, then cut into 4 x 4-inch squares.Place filo squares side by side but not overlapping on an inverted cookie sheet pan, bottom facing up, then cover with another inverted cookie pan. Bake in 350° F oven until golden brown. Remove carefully with a spatula and set aside to cool. Assemble napoleon:Place filo squares on plate, top with cannoli cream and fresh strawberries. Place a dollop of cannoli cream on top of strawberries, then another pastry sheet. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite chocolate sauce.

Pan-roasted branzino piccata
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Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
6 servings

Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 pounds branzino or red snapper filets
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 2 tablespoons capers
    • 1 large shallot, finely minced
    • 1/2 stick butter
    • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium to high heat. Season fish filets with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Add filets to hot skillet and saute until golden brown on both sides or 2 minutes per side. Remove filets from pan and transfer to large serving platter. Add butter, capers and shallots to the hot pan, then add lemon juice and white wine. Cook for 1 minute, then season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking up any brown bits left in the pan. Reduce heat and simmer sauce until slightly thickened. Add fresh chopped parsley to sauce and pour over warm fish filets; serve immediately.

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