Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve with Susan Miura

Merry Christmas! I've been up the last two nights with my older son, who has the stomach flu (yes, again, just like 2 weeks ago only worse), but the Christmas spirit is still plenty strong around here. I like to have my wonderful author friend Susan Miura blog on Christmas Eve. (See last year, too!) She is a fabulous cook who like me gives talks at libraries on travel and food. Susan has a huge crowd come to her home every year and keeps many Italian traditions alive, along with blending new ethnic celebrations. Enjoy her Christmas Eve message! (I'm off to make more Jello...)-AA

December 24th at the Miura house is an amazing celebration of the Lord's birth, complete with family (from babies to great-grandma), piles of gifts, and food reflective of our family's diversity. For decades, the evening was a traditional Sicilian Christmas Eve, complete with seven kinds of seafood, including the very unpopular calamari (squid) salad, which my Dad insisted on serving. Back then we were the Saccaro family.We'd begin with raw clams with tobasco sauce and a squeeze of lemon, which the men seemed to enjoy, though I always believed they were pretending. After that, the table was laden with two kinds of shrimp, smoked fish, lobster tails, and crab legs, in addition to eggplant parmesan and aglio y olio (angel hair pasta with olive oil and garlic).

One by one, each of the Saccaro children, including myself, got married and further diversified the ethnicity of our family. Now we are a beautiful blend of Sicilian, German, Mexican, African-American, Peruvian, Jewish, and bits and pieces of other nationalities. Some traditions still hold strong, like a shrimp main dish and the aglio y olio, but they are accompanied by Costa Rica salad, pico de gallo, Ramen salad and a host of other delicious foods. Last year I blogged about the shrimp de jonghe I usually make for Christmas Eve, but this year I'm serving another family favorite: Shrimp-Chicken Skillet. I triple it for my crowd of 20, using much less cream of chicken soup than the recipe calls for. Here is the original recipe which serves 6.

Shrimp-Chicken Skillet

1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sliced green onions

2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (I'd use a little less)

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup sherry (cooking sherry can be found in the vinegar aisle)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups cubed cooked chicken

2 cups cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

Hot cooked rice

In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Add onions; saute for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the soup, cream, broth and sherry or additional broth. cook and stir over medium-low heat until blended. Stir in cheese until melted. Add the chicken, shrimp and parsley. Heat through. Serve over rice. Note: When I triple the recipe for Christmas Eve, I use 4 cans of cream of chicken soup instead of 6.)

No comments: