I know, this category is called eating out, but today my post shall be all about EATING IN.
Spanish Christmas Menu - Menú de Noche Buena
In Spanish, Christmas Eve is called La Noche Buena or “The Good Night” and in Spain it is celebrated with a large family feast that is eaten late in the evening and lasts a couple hours. Some families attend midnight mass before or after, although many families are still finishing dinner around the table at midnight! Christmas Eve is a time for celebrating in neighborhood bars and taverns and around the table with family and friends, not a time for gift exchanges or Santa Claus. That must wait until January 6th, which is Epiphany, a religious holiday.
Tapas or Appetizers
Jamón, Queso y Chorizo - Ham, Cheese and Chorizo Sausage
This easy tapa idea uses jamón, queso y chorizo – ham, cheese and chorizo on bread. It’s a great way to start out a dinner, served with a nice red wine or two from La Rioja or Ribera del Duero regions.
Sopa de Pescado y Marisco – Fish and Shellfish Soup
Spanish Sopa de Pescado y Marisco is a classic soup for the holidays. Shellfish is always part of the menu at any Spanish celebration and Christmas is no different. This soup is a wonderful start to a meal.
Langostinos con Salsa Rosa – Large Prawns with Pink Sauce
This recipe is easy and full of flavor. The langostinos or prawns are delicious when served with the slightly spicey salsa rosa or pink sauce. It is a good side dish.
Esparragos Blancos - White Asparagus
White asparagus is very delicate in texture and flavor, since these soft spears have never been touched by sunlight. Spaniards absolutely devour it whenever it is served.
Cordero Asado - Roast Lamb
Roast lamb will not disappoint you or your guests at Christmas dinner. It is less work than roasting a turkey or duck and is much tastier.
Patatas Fritas – Home-Fried Potatoes
If you are serving roast lamb, home-fried potatoes are a must! Lightly fried in extra virgin olive oil, you’ll always wish you had fried a couple more potatoes because they will disappear fast.
Ensalada Verde – Green Salad
Like most big Spanish meals, Christmas dinner is filled with some rich dishes. To balance that out, a fresh green salad is always at the ready. This light and fresh salad compliments the heavier dishes that are passed around the holiday table.
Postre - Dessert
After a brief pause to catch your breath and clear the table, dinner continues with dessert or postre. At Christmas time that means plates of delicious:
• Turrón, Spanish almond candy.
• Polvorones or almond cookies.
• Mantecados or Spanish crumble cakes.
No Spanish Christmas would be complete without a glass of cava, Spanish sparkling wine and later hot cup of espresso coffee and/or a small glass of Spanish brandy or anise liqueur. Besides, you need something to wash all those cookies down!