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From the Kitchen: Lucia Illiano

by Doug Gausepohl

Lucia Illiano, of Illiano Cucina in Medford, shares her love of different seafood during the holiday season and shares a recipe for tender salt cod.

What is your personal favorite holiday tradition centered around food?
My favorite is a traditional seven fish dinner on Christmas Eve. It’s not necessarily any seven particular types, just a normal, large fish dinner. Our restaurant offers traditional Italian Christmas dishes, such as Baccala.

What is your personal favorite thing to cook for the holidays?
I like to make different types of seafood, because you can make all of them in lots of different ways.

What do you remember the most about the holidays when you were growing up?
Being that I grew up in Italy, I always remember going to the outside markets around Christmas time with all the fresh fish and fresh produce. I’ve always liked fish.

What's the biggest difference in the restaurant during the holiday season?
It’s obviously a difference in that you see more people coming out in groups. They tend to come out in larger parties, with their families. It’s also a lot busier.

Baccala Oreganato

Ingredients:
10 oz. baccala (fish)
5 olives
1/2 tsp. capers
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp. olive oil
Seasoned bread crumbs
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
5 cherry tomatoes

Directions:
Heat the pan, and add the olive oil. Sauté the garlic and cherry tomatoes, then add the baccala, olives and capers. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley. Let cook for 15 minutes on low heat, then add the bread crumbs and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 10 (December, 2011).
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