Miso is a fermented soybean paste. The lighter, or "white," version is milder and less salty than brown miso, and is sometimes referred to as sweet miso. It can be found in the Asian section of some supermarkets and most health-food stores.
Seafood is traditional Italian Christmas Eve fare, and this classic baccala ravioli is one of chef Mario Batali's favorite holiday dishes. The baccala, or dried cod, must be soaked for two days prior to cooking.
Cod is lean, mild-flavored white fish that is available year-round. For this recipe, you can substitute grouper or red snapper. For a spicier version, try stirring in a small amount of chopped chipotle in adobo sauce, or a pinch or two of red-pepper flakes.
Before the flicker of holiday candles gilds the rooms, before the trill of tearing gift wrap fills the air, before the shopping is even finished, the smell of Christmas wafts through Ron Suhanosky and Colleen Marnell-Suhanosky's New York City apartment. The aromas from homemade potpourris announce the season's arrival, and it starts, as it should, in the heart of the Suhanosky home: the kitchen. The owners of two Italian bistros -- the homey Sfoglia on Nantucket, in Massachusetts, and its more polished namesake in New York -- the Suhanoskys are also a study in alchemy. Where he is crisp and efficient, she is effusive and warm. He does savory; she does sweet. His family is Hungarian, Polish, and Italian; hers is Sicilian and French. When they bring together their family traditions, as they did last year for Christmas at the New York Sfoglia, the result is magical.
Cod's white, lean, mild-flavored meat makes it one of the most versatile and healthful fish. This delicious recipe for herb-marinated cod fillet is from chef Rick Moonen of Oceana Restaurant in New York City.