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We have designed a menu with four classic Christmas Eve dishes that include delicious seafood, exquisite lamb, and our signature Albariños
Christmas Eve is one of the holidays that remind us how beautiful it is to live, as one of the most iconic movies set on December 24 used to say. Why? It is one of the few times of the year when we can get together with our entire family, enjoy delicious Christmas Eve classics with the people we love, and toast with them to the Christmas to come.
Although Christmas Eve has changed over the years, it is still the most traditional and familiar of all Christmas celebrations. Therefore, while on New Year’s Eve, a more innovative and surprising menu can be designed, on December 24 the best options are the classic Christmas Eve dishes. In Galicia, for example, it is typical to have cod with cauliflower. While in Catalonia the soup of galets triumphs and in Castile and Leon always ends up making an appearance the suckling lamb.
Unlike what we may think when we remember the copious dinners organized by our grandmothers, a menu with classic Christmas Eve dishes does not have to lead us down the path of doom towards a binge and extra kilos at the end of Christmas.
For this reason, at Pazo Baión we propose four classic Christmas Eve dishes that are light and easy to prepare, which pair perfectly with the three Rías Baixas that we elaborate in our cellar.
Four classic Christmas Eve dishes that are born from tradition, but that do not lose sight of the fact that the most important thing about these holidays is not to eat a huge amount of elaborations, but to enjoy authentic delicacies while we exchange confidences, news, stories, and memories with the people who make our lives worthwhile.
Scorpion Fish Cake with Gran a Gran
Most classic Christmas Eve dishes have no traceable origin in time because they have been made for many generations. However, we do know how a dish was born that in 50 years has become an icon of Christmas gastronomy: the scorpion fish pie.
In 1971, Juan Mari Arzak, one of the most prestigious chefs in Spanish cuisine, offered scorpion fish cake to the public for the first time. A soft and subtle dish that serves as an appetizer in many dinners in the Basque Country, Cantabria, or Asturias and is now prepared throughout our country.
The way to prepare it is very simple. The most complex part is to remove the bones from the scorpion fish, from there on, it’s a piece of cake.
- Peel, cut into pieces, and cook the carrot, the onion, and the leek together with the bay leaf. After five minutes, add the scorpionfish and let everything cook for another 10 minutes.
- Beat the eggs and add the cream.
- Mash the egg and cream mixture with the scorpion fish meat and the tomato sauce.
- Pour the result of the previous step into a buttered baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil so that the cake does not dry out.
- Bake the scorpion fish cake in a bain-marie in your oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.
- Let the cake cool before serving.
Accompany this tasty starter with a glass of Gran a Gran, whose notes of wild herbs and saffron complement the flavors and aromas of the scorpionfish cake surprisingly.
Langoustines cooked with Pazo Baión
Simple is beautiful… and delicious. One of the charms of most classic Christmas Eve dishes is that they do not involve endless elaborations or complex gastronomic techniques.
In the era of spherifications and deconstructions, the simplest classic Christmas Eve dishes can also be the tastiest and the ones that make your family happiest.
For example, here’s a button. An icon of Galician gastronomy: cooked langoustines. A preparation whose main complication is to decide how many langoustines each person at your Christmas Eve dinner is going to eat:
- Put in a pot a few bay leaves and enough water to cover the langoustines you are going to cook. In addition, you should add plenty of salt. To give you an idea, in some fishing villages, they cook them directly in seawater.
- When the water starts to boil, it is time to put the langoustines in the pot. After this operation, the water will take a few seconds to boil again. From the moment it does it you must count three minutes. After this time, remove the langoustines and place them in a bowl with cold water and ice for one minute so that their meat is deliciously tender.
And then? The langoustines are ready to be served and enjoyed. Fill the glasses of your loved ones with Pazo Baión, an Albariño with wonderful fruity aromas such as lime, nectarine, or Paraguayan that assembles on the nose and palate with the unmistakable flavors of the best Galician langoustines.
Roast lamb and baker potatoes with Vides de Fontán
Suckling pig, stuffed capon, turkey… and lamb! Roasts are one of the classic dishes of Christmas Eve and other celebrations of the Christmas calendar. In addition, they are also fundamental in our gastronomy. A good roast accompanied by a balanced and powerful wine is an excellent option to kiss the glory of preparing and tasting a menu in the company of the family.
As you can see, the ingredients to prepare this delicatessen are very basic. Once you have them all, you can turn on the oven and get down to work:
- Crush the garlic and parsley in a mortar and pestle and combine the resulting mass with the oil.
- Cut the potatoes baker style, that is to say, in thick slices, arrange them on the baking tray that you are going to use, and paint them with the mixture that you have just made.
- With the rest of the garlic oil spread each shoulder of lamb, bathe them with the brandy add the spices of your choice, and place the shoulder’s skin side down.
- Bake at 160º for half an hour and then add the rest of the garlic oil and brandy and bake for another hour and a half, hydrating the lamb every 20 minutes or half an hour using water or white wine.
Plate the lamb elegantly and return to the table with a bottle of Vides de Fontán. This round, spicy, and persistent Rías Baixas is the best companion for a product with as much personality as a lamb. Its honeyed notes will make your family’s mouth water when they taste this dish.
Homemade Polvorones with Gran a Gran
If the classic Christmas Eve dishes are already an icon of our culture, the desserts are even more emblematic. Along with traditional Spanish elaborations such as nougat or marzipan, other imported sweets are already part of our imagination such as panettone. Do you want to close your menu of classic Christmas Eve dishes in style? Get your hands on the table and prepare some homemade polvorones in which almonds are the protagonists.
In addition, if you have little apprentice chef in the family, you can prepare this traditional dessert with their help, because the preparation is very simple and fun:
- Toast the flour for a quarter of an hour until it acquires a toasted tone.
- Toast the almonds for about 10 minutes and grind them when they have cooled.
- Stir the flour into the almonds and add the powdered sugar, the butter, which should be at the same time, the cinnamon, and the salt.
- Mix all the ingredients well until you get a homogeneous dough that hardly sticks to your hands. Let this dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Roll out the dough and cut it. You can use molds if you want your homemade polvorones to have Christmas or traditional shapes and, if not, we recommend you to use a glass.
- Place the polvorones on a tray with baking paper and bake them at 200º for 12 minutes. In the last stages of cooking, keep an eye on them through the oven window to prevent them from becoming too toasted and bitter afterward.
- Carefully remove them and let them cool. If you have little chef’s assistants at your side, you can wrap them in imaginative ways to surprise the whole family.
Gran a Gran, the wine that accompanies the first of the classic Christmas Eve dishes that make up this menu, is also an excellent pairing to enjoy with the homemade polvorones. Why? Its aromatic composition includes notes of stone fruit, frosting, and raisins that establish a sensational balance with the aromas and flavors of the polvorones.
In short, if you want to make your loved ones happy during the night of December 24, you can prepare these classic Christmas Eve dishes that won’t keep you trapped in the kitchen for days. A simple, traditional menu, for all budgets that will satiate the stomachs of your loved ones without stuffing them.
We assure you that when the evening is over, you will have earned your wings just like the angel in It’s a wonderful life!
We take our albariños home with us.