If you’re looking for some delicious dishes to celebrate Christmas Eve, check out these two recipes from Rania Harris!

Oysters Rockefeller

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, Panko preferred
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash red pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil or parsley
  • 2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
  • Rock salt
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Red Hot Sauce (optional) for serving
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Mignonette Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 shallots, minced
    2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Directions:

Melt butter in a skillet. Sauté the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter, set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod. Season with salt and pepper, add a dash of red pepper sauce. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and chervil, season with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a baking pan amply with rock salt. Arrange the oysters in the salt to steady them. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and red pepper sauce.

Serves: 8 as an appetizer

Mignonette Sauce:

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving with oysters. Yield: 3/4 cup

Fried Calamari

  • 1 pound cleaned calamari ~ cut into rings
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 2 eggs ~ beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ mashed
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt to tast
  • Vegetable or Canola oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Horseradish Pesto and Spicy Marinara Sauce (see recipes below)

Directions:

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Coat the calamari rings in the cornmeal ~ shake off the excess

Dip the coated rings in a mixture of the eggs with the mashed garlic

Dip them into the bread crumbs and coat well. Refrigerate the coated rings for an hour before frying

Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Fry the calamari in batches for about a minute or until golden. They should rise to the top of the oil and be golden brown. Remove them from the oven and drain them well on paper towels before transferring them to a serving platter. Serve them with lemon wedges, hot sauce, the Horseradish Pesto and Spicy Marinara sauces.

Serves: 4 as an appetizer

Horseradish Pesto Sauce:

  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Yield: 3/4 cup

Spicy Marinara Sauce:

  • 1 cup good quality marinara sauce
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
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In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Yield: 1 cup