In France and Italy, and across much of Europe, seafood is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve and it is a very good way of embarking on the meat feast that is to follow. But you don’t have to stick to the custom, just keep this in mind for a very quick, warming, and yet elegant supper. A fennel salad before or after would be lovely, but you need no more than just some bread to dunk with.
- 1 lb 10 oz cherrystone or littleneck clams
- 1 lb 10 oz monkfish fillet
- 1 lb 10 oz salmon fillet
- 1 lb 10 oz cleaned squid
- 2 tablespoons butter
- drop of vegetable oil
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup Pedro Ximénez or other rich dark sherry
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives, optional
Soak the clams in a bowl of cold water, leave them for about 5 minutes while you slice the fish, then discard the open or cracked clams and drain the rest.
Cut the fish into ½-inch slices, and also slice the squid into the same width rings.
Melt the butter and oil in a large pot or pan with a lid, then over high heat toss in the fish and squid and stir them around until they begin to go opaque.
Add the clams and white wine, and clamp on the lid, shaking the pot over the heat, and let it cook for about 3 minutes.
Lift the lid, avoiding the steam, and pour in the sherry. Cover again and leave for another 3 minutes or so, shaking about again every now and then.
Serve the seafood in the pot, sprinkling over the chopped chives, if preferred.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.