Christmas Eve Dinner Party: Deviled Eggs “Ikura Style,” Mussels, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, & Baked Salmon

As you’ll see, I spent most of the day shopping, then in the kitchen to prepare dinner for eight last night. All the images can be clicked for their higher-resolution versions.

On appetizer, we have some of by beef and chicken liver pâté.

Pâté with Celery

Alongside was my favorite way to serve up deviled eggs. I originally did it way back here.

Deviled Eggs with Salmon Roe (Ikura) and Nori

The first course was muscles using this basic preparation. Forget to get a picture so this is actually from a previous preparation of the same thing. In addition to what the recipe called for, I had about a cup of vegetable stock in there. You can use chicken as well.

IMG 0282
Mussels Steamed in Garlic, Shallots, White Wine & Tarragon

Then it was on to the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, a Williams-Sonoma recipe. I added some heavy cream to it as well as cinnamon for a particularly holiday flavor, in combo with the nutmeg.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Fresh Sage & Hazelnuts

And finally, the salmon, which I had acquired fresh at a fish market early in the day. North Atlantic wild caught. Here was the preparation before going into the oven.

Wild Caught Salmon

Very easy. I lined the roasting pan with three long sheets of foil. On that I drizzled olive oil and spread it around so the skin wouldn’t stick. Then I just tossed in a bunch of chopped fennel, fresh parsley, and sliced lemon. Laid the two sides of the fish on. added a cup or so of white wine, dusted the filets with sea salt, and then added more parsley, fennel and lemon. Then I closed it all up with foil.

Cooking time was 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.

Salmon at the Table

Easily the best salmon I’ve ever cooked. Totally rare and moist. I served it with white rice cooked in vegetable stock and at the end, stired in finely chopped celery and fennel.

My cousin brought an amazing desert that was a small indulgence for me in return for all the work in the kitchen: a dark chocolate soufflé with a dark chocolate peppermint sauce. I was glad they were small, cupcake sized, because they were amazingly rich. Totally home made and delicious. Thanks Frank & Charlene. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

This afternoon, we’ll be headed over to my brother’s house where an 8-bone prime rib is about to go in the oven at 200, low & slow. Here’s another time. And yet another, thin sliced English style.

Alright, have yourselves a mery ‘ole time, indulge yourself a bit, but always cheat well.

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  1. Lute Nikoley on December 25, 2011 at 10:51

    And a very delicious meal it was. Except I took the salmon eggs off my deviled egg snacks.

  2. Jackie Danicki on December 25, 2011 at 11:36

    Dang, that looks good! One question: Do I read correctly that the salmon was already cut into filets? I am just wondering about the cooking time – when I do a single filet of salmon en papillote (or in foil), I pull it out after 10 minutes max. Is the 40 minutes just an adjustment for the fact that you had so many filets? (I’m no scientist, in case you couldn’t tell.)

    • Richard Nikoley on December 25, 2011 at 11:40

      It was two whole sides of salmon, on the skin, nearly 8 pounds total. I checked after 30 minutes and the thicker part didn’t quite flake as well as I like, so I went for another 5 min.

  3. Steve on December 25, 2011 at 14:21

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing this. May your 2012 be healthy, joyful, and prosperous.

  4. Keith Thomas on December 26, 2011 at 08:22


  5. PaleoDentist on December 26, 2011 at 12:43


  6. Andrew on December 26, 2011 at 16:10

    There has been no wild atlantic salmon on the market for many years. If your fishmonger tells you it’s wild and atlantic he’s lying on misinformed. google it.

  7. […] Beatrice got 2 of 3 of their sons through 5th grade way better than wen they went in, and they have loved her for it every minute since. We have many friends as a result. Too many to recount, but Alain and Didi, from Montreal are a couple. We've both been to each other's homes and in fact, they were there for this epic meal on Christmas Eve. […]

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