Christmas dinner Italian style

On Christmas day my mom relinquished her kitchen to me and allowed for me to make an experimental four course holiday dinner.

Course 1: Poached egg over polenta with hollandaise sauce and kale
Our favorite dish is probably between this and the steamed whole rainbow trout. This dish was decadent but worth the fat. And there was kale, so healthy! Also, poaching eggs isn’t too tricky. I added a little white vinegar to the boiling water and slowly broke a few eggs into the pot. They boiled for approx 4-5 minutes and I pulled them out with a strainer. Here’s the hollandaise sauce recipe thanks to my friend, Carolyn.
Hollandaise sauce
-melt one stick of butter and drizzle into blender that contains 3 egg yolks, 2.5 T lemon juice, pinch of cayenne and 1/4 tsp salt. whip it good and spoon over anything and everything. An improvement to this dish would be the addition of smoked salmon and a dizzle of lemon juice over the top.

Smooth and creamy!

Course II: Fresh pasta with homemade tomato sauce
Wanted to keep the pasta course simple. I made the tomato sauce in advance using liquified canned tomatoes (courtesy of my mom) and assorted spices. The pasta was not my best work and I will not use this ratio again: 2 C. flour, salt, 2 eggs, some water and oil. I think it needed more egg yolk and water as well as an hour in the fridge to rest. Next time!

Still pretty!

Course III: Steamed rainbow trout with dill, lemon and garlic
I LOVE steaming whole fish and usually do so in my bamboo steamer. This time around I wrapped it in foil and baked it in the oven for 20 mins at 400F. Both work very well and the fish was super moist and flavorful. I stuffed the inside of the fish where the guts were removed with dill, lemon slices, garlic and salt. I also prepped it in a bath of cold water, salt and lemon to remove bacteria and general grossness. (this last step was necessary) I also made some brussel sprout finished in some bacon fat…ah bacon. I felt bad that I didn’t make a stock with the leftover fish parts, but maybe next time.

Don't be afraid of whole fish!

Course IV: Tiramisu
My mom offered her dessert making skills for the last course, Tiramisu. It was delicious and we ate it all weekend.




  1. What a wonderful festive feast Jamie, love all the food you have here, very interested in the polenta egg dish, I hope you and your family had a wondewrful Xmas.

    • jamieott Said:

      Thanks Marcus. Happy holidays to you as well. Let me know if you try the polenta dish. I actually made some smoked salmon for the dish and forgot to put it in last minute… 🙂

  2. Jackie Hartson Said:

    Jamie, Glenn and I agree that anytime you want to use our kitchen, we would be most obliging…as long as we get to taste the fruits/vegetables of your labor 🙂
    It is so enjoyable to watch you work….you are like an artist so focused on your masterpiece. We could watch you work all day!
    We can attest to the wonderful buttery flavor of the sauce on the flavorful polenta, the rich tomato sauce, and the delightfully light trout with the very flavorful bacon dressed broccoli. Thanks so very much for sharing your talents with us Jamie!!

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