Mediterranean Christmas Food

Christmas is the time of year when family gathers, people spend time together around Christmas table full of tasty traditional dishes.
Traditions vary not only from country to country but also from region to region.

Let me tell you how our Istrian Christmas dining went this year.

For breakfast there’s Panettone. This is an Italian type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan. It is usually bought in stores although you can make it yourself. But this is one thing that is better and more tasteful when bought then homemade. I prefer the one with raisins and candied fruit, but there’s also panettone with chocolate, vanilla flavor, tiramisu or some other filling. Some people prefer panettone without filling and without raisins, just pure biscuit with powdered sugar. I usually choose a different one for each day 🙂

Panettone

Pre-Christmas Fast usually means Codfish in Istria

For the dinner on Friday my Mum prepared pasutice with codfish pate and kale. Typical fast food in Istria is a combination of fish, pasta and vegetables.

Pasutice is a sort of homemade pasta, rhomboid-shaped. I will put the recipe online in a few days. We usually buy codfish pate which can be served aside the pasutice or separately in a small dish, and eaten with bread or with pasutice.

To prepare codfish pate at home for 10 servings you will need 700g of dry codfish, 100 g of garlic and half a liter of olive oil. You need to put codfish in water the day before and then cook it for one and a half hours. Then you need to ‘beat it’ in a tall pot together with olive oil and fried garlic.

You can also prepare a quick sauce by heating it up for a few minutes with some olive oil.

An interesting fact from the past is that pour families who couldn’t afford codfish would prepare carrot instead of codfish by the same recipe.
Kale is just cooked in water and then added to olive oil and fried garlic. For 1 kg of kale you will need 60 g of garlic and 3 dcl of olive oil.
This is a traditional dish to be eaten before Christmas as part of fasting.

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Pasutice with codfish pate and kale

Some more fasting food
On Saturday we ate grilled bream (one of the most tasteful whitefish here, it is considered the queen of the fish). We prepared it on charcoal but on rapes smoke which gave the fish a special smell.

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On Sunday my Dad prepared octopus in iron skillet with potatoes. That’s what I call Christmas!

octopus in iron skillet with potatoes

Octopus in iron skillet with potatoes
Octopus in iron skillet with potatoes
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Octopus in iron skillet with potatoes

Pasta and meat for Christmas
For the Christmas day we had the typical Istrian menu- veal soup, fuzi and krafi which were prepared with game sauce this time and then beef stakes with mushrums.
If you want to know how to prepare homemade fusi, you can read about it here, although this recipe is with truffles and gamberi.

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All the ladies in the family prepared some cakes so the desert offer was very rich.

What does your family usually eat around Christmas?

 

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