Not a lump of coal—lumpfish

It’s Saint Nicholas, or Sinter-klaas, whose feast day it is today–December 6–that ushers in the Christmas season.
But nary a lump of coal…but lumpfish for all good girls and boys.
Roe.  Caviar.  And all those niceties.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered: traditional indulgences for an elegant holiday specialty or small plate menu.
Caviar
So many branded offerings.
Although Petrossian is considered the finest, there are also exquisite Alaskan and West Coast varietals.  But try this.  These nutty, buttery beads have a salty, smooth pop and are sustainably harvested from white sturgeon, farm-raised in California.
…and if you’ve been very good all year, maybe St. Nick will treat with a caviar service. 
Tradition insists that fine roe be served likewise–in a sterling service, with requisite pearl spoon. World class luxury.
…and what else…
Blue Pool Oysters
The constant icy temperature of the Hama Hama river yields  beautiful, boutique Blue Pool oysters September through June. A repast of velvety brine with a sweet finish.
Anything else?
Pate
Pampering with pate. Here’s a trio of traditional French-style charcuterie.
Truffle Mousse:  chicken livers, black truffles, porcini mushrooms and sherry, transformed into a creamy mousse and polished with a layer of black-truffle aspic.
Duck Mousse:  a silky mousse of duck livers marinated in port wine, with a traditional layer of clear gelatin on top.
Rillettes du Périgord:  tender shreds of duck meat blended with flavorful seasonings, then metabolized into a substantial confit.
All items are produced without antibiotics or hormones, and are also free of pork ingredients, preservatives, artificial ingredients and nitrites.
And for that sweet tooth…
*or same as old fashioned “Windmill” cookies.
A specialty of the Netherlands and Belgium, these are clones of gingerbread, only lighter and more delicately spiced.  Baked in finely carved wooden molds , which form the cookies into bas-relief images from stories about Saint Nicholas.
3 cups flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
In a bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, salt, and white pepper; set aside. In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Add half the flour mixture; mix. Add milk and remaining flour mixture; mix. Form into 2 disks. Chill, covered, for 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350°. Working with 1 disk at a time, break off chunks and press into a floured speculaas mold; scrape away excess dough and invert mold to free dough. Brush away flour from mold. Transfer imprinted dough pieces to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing pieces 2″ apart. Bake until golden brown, 16–18 minutes. Let cool.
Enjoy.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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