X-Mas Eve 2010- Anjali’s First

With the babe a mere three weeks old, we couldn’t make the trip to Boston to be with the family this Christmas, so the feast fell to me and Francesca.  I hit Sun Fat this morning, and I’ve never been less than ecstatic at the service and quality there.  We made a small change in the menu (clams on the half-shell became fried calamari), and plan to tinker with it again next year.  Francesca helped out with the pasta, but was otherwise occupied with Anjali.  I wondered what the little one would make of all the smells without getting to actually eat any of it.  We’ll never know.  I discovered that there’s a reason it goes so much smoother with an entire family backing you up in the kitchen, but it was fun to cook and eat all day long.

We started at 3:30 pm with shrimp cocktail:

The horseradish sauce in the middle was made with some homemade horseradish (or should it be home-fermented?)

Then we took Anjali for a little walk up to the top of Mt. Sutro to look out at the Pacific.  Now, mom was getting hungry, so we moved on to the calamari in panko at about 4:45:

We weren’t really even finished with that when Francesca set the water on to boil and used my mom’s recipe for the pasta: Garlic browned in 1/4 cup of olive oil, add 1/4 cup water, chopped can of anchovies, a couple of tablespoons of fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 15-20 mins.  We had it on linguine with some Parmegiana Reggiano and some fresh bread at 5:15:

And I have to throw in a pic of Francesca chopping away with the baby in the Moby wrap, natural as can be:

We had a fair break as the pasta is pretty filling.  I got the drawn butter (with garlic and lemon) together and we steamed the clams at about 8:00:

They were Cherry Stones, so somewhat larger in size.  That makes it that much more important to me to get them the hell out of the steamer as soon as they pop open or they get a little tough.  Worked out this time.

Then my two lovely ladies took a bit of a nap.  When they woke up around 10:15, we had a Ceasar’s Salad with the old school home-made dressing; raw egg, anchovies, fresh grated Parm, Worcestshire sauce, lemon, the whole bit.  Kind of a tradition for me.  I made the dressing just before peeling the shrimp to give it a couple of hours in the fridge to melt together:

We finished off with a couple of lobsters in butter, and made a serious mess until about 11:15. 

Now the ladies are in bed, and I knew I had to get this posted now or it would never happen.  I only get to be this decadent once a year, but it gives me 364 days to just look forward to it.

Happy holidays all, from my family to yours.

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5 Comments on “X-Mas Eve 2010- Anjali’s First
  1. What a wonderful, wonderful meal! Home made horseradish….the pasta sounds fantastic…anything with anchovies, and ending with a lobster…now that is class! And Mount Sutro in the middle!

  2. Steve,
    Thanks for sharing the menu of your first Xmas Eve meal together with Anjali even though she could only participate with her presence, but that was what surely made the meal special. We look forward to future Xmas Eves together, but I am delighted that you have continued the tradition in the meantime.

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