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Kicking Off the Holidays with Lunch at the Beach and an Impromptu Dinner Party Featuring Squid Ink Pasta and Seafood

December 21, 2013 by Joan Nova in Appetizers, Entertaining, Family, Fish/Seafood, Holidays, Party Food, Party Menus, Pasta, Restaurant Reviews, Salads, Spanish/Tapas | 14 Comments

I just love “the holidays”, don’t you?  But, sometimes, things get a little hectic — like this week when I scheduled a holiday lunch at a beachfront restaurant on the same day I was supposed to meet 4 people for an early tapas dinner in a Spanish restaurant. Feeling sorry for me? Hah, I thought not.

I pondered the calendar squeeze the day before and, on a whim, I offered (and they accepted) to do dinner at home. I thought to myself … it’s only 5 people … some family we don’t get to see that often so it would be easier to converse … mom would appreciate the lack of noise and the ability to see her food … and, overall, it would be more comfortable.

But, there wasn’t much time to plan, market, and cook so I peered around my almost empty freezer, refrigerator and pantry. And, then, I just LAUGHED OUT LOUD with glee.

“I got this,” I said to myself. With a little bit of this and little bit of that, I had a menu and I didn’t even have to go to the market for one.single.thing. Not one! Some people keep a kosher kitchen. Apparently, I keep a Spanish one.

So with a little defrosting (shrimp, salmon, chorizo) the night before and some prep in the morning, I had plenty of time to meet friends and enjoy a lobster roll lunch at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach and still be  in very good shape when my guests arrived later that day.

Ready for a little vino and dinner?

Simple tapas of chorizo with red onion roasted in sweet Spanish wine and Cerignola olives.

A salad of garbanzo beans that had been cooked in chicken broth with diced chorizo, rainbow chard and garlic served with julienned radicchio, fennel, artichoke, red onions, stuffed green olives and a gorgonzola-stuffed and roasted sweet pepper on toast.

Squid ink spaghetti with salmon, shrimp and pulpo roasted with a sauce made from cuttlefish in squid ink, onion, garlic, Sazón with saffron, tomatoes, capers, white wine and clam juice. [Note: the squid ink and pulpo were canned and can be found in Latin section of supermarket.]

Scrumptious! Glad there’s a little leftover pasta – it really soaked up all the flavors and was lip-smacking good.

Happy Holidays to all!

Note: Not recommending the wine. Beautiful bottle, but it either was on the way to turning or I didn’t like it. We drank an Italian Insolia.


NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. This answered my question when I emailed you. Yep it turned out fantastic. The house looks wonderful and the tapas party a delight…

  2. I could never schedule two things in one day. You area true multi-tasker with talent.
    angela@spinachtiger recently posted..Pennsylvania Dutch Sand Tarts, an Amish Christmas CookieMy Profile

  3. Love the decorations and love the looks of those inspired tapas. I’m coming to YOUR house next Christmas! Happy Christmas and New Year, Joan, to you and yours.
    Victoria of Flavors of the Sun recently posted..Curried Pear Soup with Sesame-Honey Yogurt GarnishMy Profile

  4. Can I be a part of your family? Seriously, what a feast Joan and I can’t get over that you managed two things in one day. I could have never pulled it off. I’m in love with that yellow Christmas ball. So festive and fun.

    Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year.

  5. Monique says:

    I love Florida:) We are submerged in the beautiful white stuff..but there’s something about Florida and the sea!
    Happy Holidays~

  6. bellini says:

    It looks like you are all on your way to a gastronomic feast over the holidays Joan. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Delicious dreams!!!!

  7. Adri says:

    Oh my, but it looks like you are having magnificent holidays. What lovely photographs. Everything looks beautiful!

  8. Crazy busy schedule but well managed. Wow what an amazing meal you enjoyed. I have a dying packet of squid ink in my pantry, must use it. Happy Holidays to you and your family!
    Evelyne@cheapethniceatz recently posted..Burnt Eggplant Salad with Green Tahini DressingMy Profile

  9. I have so much to learn from you. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and Happy Holidays!
    Brenda Benoit recently posted..Boater’s Grill- Cool Vibrations in No Name’s Harbor, Key BiscayneMy Profile

  10. sippitysup says:

    …and I thought I was prepared. GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Simple Brussels SproutsMy Profile

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