Spanish Christmas Menu

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Spanish Christmas Menu

  1. 1. STARTERS SEAFOOD SALAD Ingredients: - Potatoes. - Carrots. - Three eggs. - Olives. - Prawns. - King crab sticks. - Mussels. - Mayonnaise. - Red Peppers. - Water. - Salt. Directions: 1. Cut up the carrtos and the potatoes and boil them. 2. Boil the eggs. 3. Chop finely the prawns, the mussels and the king crab sticks and put them together into a bowl. 4. Grate the eggs. 5. Chop finely the olives and put them into the same bowl. 6. Put the boiled potatoes and carrots. 7. Put some mayonnaise into the bowl. 8. Put the salad on a dish and cover it with more mayonnaise until the surface is uniform. 9. Grate the yolk of an egg to decorate the salad and also use some red peppers to decorate it. GRILLED PRAWNS Ingredients: - Prawns. - Olive oil. - Salt. Directions: 1. Put the prawns on the barbecue with some olive oil. 2. Grill the prawn during 5 minutes. 3. Put the prawns on a dish and season with salt.
  2. 2. FIRST COURSE CHICKEN CONSOMME Ingredients: - 1 kg (2 1/4 lbs) frozen chicken giblets - 2 litres (4 pt) 10 cups water - 2 tsp salt - 1 leek - 2 carrots - 2 sprigs celery tops - 2 sprigs parsley - 1 bay leaf - 2 small onions - 1 clove - 4 white peppercorns - 4 egg yolks - 2 tbsp chopped chives Directions: 1. Remove giblets from wrapping and allow to thaw in a sieve placed over a bowl. Pour away any water that collects during the process. 2. Wash the giblets, put into a large saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat so that the stock barely simmers. Skim off any scum that forms during the first 30 minutes. 3. Simmer gently for another hour, until the stock is reduced by half. 4. Meanwhile, wash the leek, removing the green part, and cut lengthwise into strips. 5. Scrape and wash the carrots and cut into rounds. Wash the celery tops and herbs, peel the onions and spike the bay leaf into it with the clove. 6. Add prepared vegetables and peppercorns to stock after it has simmered for the first hour and a half, cover the pan and simmer 30 minutes longer. 7. Put one egg yolk into each of 4 soup bowls. Pour the stock through a fine sieve or a piece of muslin. 8. If you wish to remove all fat from the stock it must be left to cool, then the solidified fat can be removed and the consomme reheated.
  3. 3. SECOND COURSE BAKED RED BREAM Ingredients: - 800 g red bream fillets, cut into 6 cm pieces - 1/2 lemon, cut into thin wedges - 3 tablespoons fine fresh breadcrumbs - 2 garlic cloves, crushed - 2 tablespoons hot paprika (pimenton picante) - 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley - 4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced - 125 ml extra virgin olive oil - 12 black olives - sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - an oiled ovenproof dish large enough to hold the fish in a single layer Directions: 1. Make a slash on the skin of each piece of fish, lightly salt them all over, then insert a lemon wedge into each slash. 2. Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic, paprika and parsley in a bowl. 3. Put a layer of the potatoes in the oiled ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and spoon over 2 tablespoons of oil and 4 tablespoons water. 4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C (375°F) Gas 5 for 30-40 minutes. 5. Put the fish on top, sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and pour the remaining olive oil over the top. Pour 2 more tablespoons of water around the sides of the dish (so the crumbs don't get wet) and bake for a further 10 minutes. 6. Dot with the olives, cover the dish and cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the fish flakes easily.
  4. 4. DESSERTS MARZIPAN Ingredients: - 2 cups granulated sugar - 1/8 tsp cream of tartar - 4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal) - 2 egg whites - Powdered sugar for dusting Preparation: 1. Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water. 2. Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. 3. Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes. 4. Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. 5. Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy. 6. Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, the place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick. 7. Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch. 8. Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant. 9. Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.
  5. 5. HOW DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN SPAIN? On December 22, two important events take place. Students are released from school for their winter vacations, and perhaps more importantly, they announce the winning number of the famous Christmas Lottery in Spain. Christmas Eve in Spain, called “Nochebuena”, just like in many parts of the world, is celebrated with two very important traditions, eating an enormous and decadent meal, and going to Christmas mass. There is a wide variety of typical foods one might find on plates across Spain on this night. Each region has its own distinct specialties. After the meal, many Spaniards get their second wind and go to midnight mass, known as “La misa del Gallo”, or “Rooster Mass”, named such because the Rooster is known as the first to announce the birth of Christ. Christmas day is more or less a continuation of what began the day before. People spend time with their families, they eat another large meal, although not as big as the one the day before. Of course, the celebrations that take place on New Year’s Eve, or Nochevieja, in Spain, are quite an impressive spectacle. In all plazas of Spanish cities big and small, one can see a similar scene, and it will undoubtedly include church bells and grapes. When the clock strikes 12, the church bells sound 12 times, and at this moment, all Spaniards eat 12 grapes, one for each toll of the bell. Families and friends stay together for this celebration which marks the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. January 6, Three King’s Day, is the long awaited day in which the three Kings bring their gifts. On January 5, children go to a parade where they see the three kings arrive to their city, and take the opportunity to ask them for gifts. Later, before going to bed, children leave their shoes out in a visible spot in the house or on their balcony, y go to bed hoping that when they wake up they will find gifts left by Mechior, Gaspar, and Balthasar. For breakfast or after lunch, families often have the typical dessert of the day, the “Roscón de los Reyes”, a large ring shaped cake that is decorated with candied fruits, symbolic of the emeralds and rubies that adorned the robes of the three kings. Somewhere inside the cake there is a surprise, and the person to find it will be crowned King or Queen of the house for the remainder of the day.

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