Breaking with Tradition
Christmas is in the air. My family is Eastern European, so we probably celebrate a bit different than some. For instance, everything happens on Christmas Eve, while Christmas Day we rest. Yes, we still have a Christmas tree and keep the tradition of Santa alive for everyone (he is real, you know), but there are some subtle differences. For example, Santa comes during the Christmas Eve post-dinner; his jolly old self storms into the house and hands out presents to everyone. On the flip side, that means we get to sleep in the next morning.
Before all this happens, the fun for me is just getting started: dinner. (Or better called the feast.) Christmas Eve is always a fast for us, which means no meat. But that doesn’t stop us from eating like kings. You can expect to find a wide variety of herring available. Who knew you could have five types in one sitting? There are also spectacular sides of vegetables and salads. The star, though, is always fish. A classic whole white fish stuffed with salt, pepper, lemon, parsley and butter. After many years of the same old dish, last year, I was asked to change it up a bit, and I gladly accepted the challenge. There is a lot of pressure-cooking for the main course, but I was more than willing to give it a try. So I embarked on a journey to update the boring old fish dish, and based on the reviews, I succeeded. Welcome the new star of Christmas Eve dinner, horseradish salmon!
The key to this dish is the fresh horseradish, but be warned it does burn the eyes a bit during prep. The flavour it produces is ten times better than the pre-made stuff. Also, before your guests go running for the hills, let them know the taste mellows out while baking. Here’s to new traditions.