Christmas Eve (La Noche Buena) is the most important part about Christmas in Spain and dinner that day is the biggest meal of the year. You and your book club may enjoy preparing a Christmas Eve dinner similar to what Andrés Aragón shared with his family in my novel City of Sorrows. For a pictorial representation of Christmas traditions in Seville, go to “Andrés and Adela’s Spanish Christmas.” For a fun activity to share with your book club here’s a few suggestions and recipes for a delicious Christmas Eve feast with the Aragón family of Seville.
First Course: Tapas & Wine
Tapas are small dishes similar to what we call appetizers. Some favorite tapas may include:
Artichokes with Clams
Prawn and Bacon Brochettes
Smoked Fish and Fresh Fruit
Second Course: Soup or Stew
Main Course: Meat
The main course will always consist of some type of meat, usually:
No Christmas dinner is complete without a good bottle of Rioja wine and a before (or after dinner) sherry. Here’s two recommendations:
Dry Old Palo Cortado Sherry—a dark, nutty, penetrating sherry and the perfect compliment to Iberian ham
Rioja Reserva Vina Ardanza—this superb Rioja makes quite a statement if you are roasting a pig or slow-cooking a leg of lamb
If these selections are not available, any Rioja wine or Spanish sherry will do!
To make your night complete, put on some Spanish villancios (Christmas carols) for a really special evening (Click on the “Music” link to purchase a “Navidad en Andalucía” CD from Amazon)