Christmas Eve Dinner

Joined Nov 20, 2000
Every year we have a fancy dinner for Xmas eve. My wife, myself and soon to be 10 year old son. He is turning into quite the gourmet (at least once a year) It is a candle lit affair. It is designed to be as fancy a meal as possible as if we were in La Pyramid in France.
Past meals have included Duck A'La Orange, Steak Au Poivre, Roast Goose Austrian style, Tournedos Rossini. This year I am still in the air but I'm leaning towards Faisan Souvaroff. Perhaps Roast Duck with Truffled Risotto and Asparagus and Garlic Flan.

Are there any similar Christmas Eve food traditions? I suppose this interests me because actually I am Jewish and this Xmas Eve dinner is still somewhat new to me and I'm enjoying it. I missed it last year as some might know. My son felt cheated because I "Spazzed out" (his words) so this year has to be the best one yet!:chef:
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I cook Christmas Eve dinner for a family....their tradition is oysters Rockefeller...I'm doing lamb this year.. and bouche d noel the shrooms!!!!
Joined Jul 15, 2001
Howdy, Rochester!! My husband and I both graduated from the U of R, way back in the sixties. WOW - I'm one of those!!

My husband is also Jewish, so I know what it's like to train one of you guys in the traditions of the Yuletide season. We have our gifts Christmas eve - Santa always came Christmas morning. Helped lessen the tension somewhat to separate the two. Couldn't get my inlaws to attend family gifts for many years. I think they thought we had some strange religious rites Christmas Eve or something. Anyway, when we finally got everyone there, it was clear that Christmas Eve dinner had to be something light, quick to fix and quick to eat. Cannot take up gift opening time by eating!!!

I finally began making New England Clam Chowder. Started with Craig Claiborne's N.Y. Times Cookbook recipe and "improved" it every year. It has stayed the same for the last couple of years, so I think I've reached where I was headed. It has now become a 'tradition' and it's the only time I make this soup all year. Do make extra though so there are leftovers Christmas Day. So, it's Clam Chowder, oyster crackers or homemade bisquits (depending on how much time I have), 'Iced Assorted Relishes' (a throwback to the menus of my youth.....actrually it's just carrot and celery sticks, radish roses and an assortment of olives thrown in for good measure.
Joined Jul 24, 2001
Oh Chrose!

My grandma was Jewish also and she celebrated Christimas Eve.
Please post some of your ideas. You see, Christmas Evev is my anniversary. I met my husband and I asked him to marry me the next hour.
The last two years I cannot wait for Christmas :).
last year it was Tournedo Rossini for two .
I have started making plans but nothing yet! :bounce:
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Funny! My Jewish hubby and I like to have Steak au Poivre. But I like your Tournedos Rossini, Athenaeus!



Joined Apr 4, 2000
Tradition is very important to my dad so the menu rarely varies. Certain things have to be on the table and, most important, there has to be leftovers.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
My wife is an Italian from NYC and since we have been together she has carried on a family tradition practiced by her own for decades. It is called the 7fish dinner, and usually includes lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, scallops, mussles and calamari.
Ok, so we cant afford any Christmas gifts but hey the dinner is awesome. Preparation of the dishes varies from year to year but the lobster always remains the "main course". She says depending on the budget substitutions can be made.
Merry Christmas All
Joined Jul 31, 2000
This is a great thread Chrose,thanks for starting it.
It's a small world as I read the past posts.

I am also Jewish and My wife is catholic.
I proposed to Jill on xmas 1984. My Mom and Dad,two brothers and a uncle came to my inlaws and watched be on one knee in front of the fire propose.
The first xmas I spent with my wife and her family I thought I was suppose to bring cards for everyone,I put them on all the gifts :)

Anyway I have been gently "trained" in the tradition of xmas,and have had wonderful times.

all the hoopla really happens christmas day for my wifes family,
On christmas eve when I come home from work I always stop by my local fish monger and pick up some shrimp (my daughters love shrimp)and any fish that looks super fresh and I basiclly just empty my fridge of what I can find and make what ever comes to mind.

It's funny sometimes when christmas and hannukah overlap.
Last year hanukah was christmas eve so we were at my folks home lighting the menorah,and when we got home we place the milk and cookies infront of our fire place for santa and some carrots for the raindeers.

Joined Mar 13, 2001
when you have lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, scallops, mussles and calamari for dinner, zombie_chef! :p :p
Joined Aug 27, 2000
I'm not sure how we started this, but my wife and I have eaten Chinese on Christmas Eve for the last 12 years. Now it's a tradition with no particular origin. Maybe it's because you can always get a table in a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve. :)
Joined Apr 30, 2001
We always have something simple on Christmas Eve...'cause you know that Christmas dinner is coming tomorrow.

Seems that in late years, we have had hamburgers [grilled in the snow sometimes] and potato salad for Christmas Eve dinner.

Joined Nov 20, 2000
Could it be because of the movie "A Christmas Story" where the neighbors dogs got loose in the house and ate the Christmas Goose? The family had to go to a local chinese restaurant because that was the only thing open. They had Peking Duck and freaked when the CHOPPED (they did it with emphasis, hence the capital letters) the head off.
But the most memorable part would be the chinese waiters gathering around and singing "Deck the haws wees bows of horry, fah rah rah rah rah, rah rah rah rah" tees the season to be jorry, fah rah rah rah rah, rah rah rah rah!"
That was too funny!:D
Joined Jul 2, 2001
For us Christmas Eve is ALWAYS Mexican food. Great tamales enchiladas, tacos carnitas and shrimp. For the shrimp I take 16/20 mexican whites and stuff them with jack cheese and jalapenos and then dip them in a maiza batter. Yum can't wait. Only 22 more days.
Joined Mar 12, 2001
We haven't varied much since the AF moved us about the world. We always have a sirloin tip done on the weber kettle, mashed tatoes, gravy, homemade rolls, a veggie(there is latitude there), and a salad of some sort. Being a good Lutheran(ahem) we usually have some type of jello, whether with exotic additions of sherbet and whipped cream, or just straight. Although my boys objected to the year that my mother decided to make lemon jello with grated carrots, celery and green peppers(I kid you not). It was not pleasant. However, we always have rice pudding, but I'm passing on the lutefish. I just hope my mom brings the lefse from my aunt....mmmm with butter and sugar it can't be beat! I tried changing the menu a couple years back and got such flack that we went back to our standard.. This is always served on Christmas Eve. Christmas day is an all day snack of meats and cheeses(brought from WI) and whatever else we find appealing. :lips:
Joined Jan 26, 2001
This will be the first Christmas that my husband and I stay put, and don't fly the 2000+ miles to juggle our families.

Christmas Eve is his birthday, so it will be whatever he wants to eat, including a devils food mint chocolate chip ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. It's kind of weird to me, to make Christmas Eve a birthday holiday rather than a Christmas holiday, but birthdays are important too.

So since I can't say what WE have always done, I'll say what my family always did.

There's the Christmas Chowder (recipe posted in Recipe exchange). My Dad would disappear Christmas Eve morning (to do his Christmas shopping, what a procrastinator) and bring home a bunch of unshelled nuts and we'd all sit around with the nutcracker, while listening to the Christmas RECORDS they've had forever.

My Mom, in the past few years, has gotten tired of traditional food, so once she disappeared and came home with fresh crab legs (nobody was complaining!!) and once she made her wonderful lasagna.

Christmas morning was always the same- orange juice and my Grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls.

For now, it's time to create my own traditions! THat's why I love reading all of yours so much....

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