For Christmas Eve dinner, Judith Tirado, Michael Mina’s late mother-in-law, always prepared cioppino—the San Francisco seafood stew that owes its origins to fishermen from Italy’s Ligurian coast. “She’d spend a whole day infusing the broth with basil and tomatoes,” Mina recalls. Now he carries on the tradition by making her hearty, briny recipe, full of crab, shrimp and clams.
“The great thing about doing a whole rib roast is that you don’t have to concentrate,” Michael Mina says. “Season it right with salt and pepper, put it in the oven and then you can focus on all the dishes that go along with it.”
New York chef Gerry Hayden, a friend of Michael Mina, was staying with the family one Christmas and contributed this side dish to the holiday meal. Everybody fell for the combination of creamy pureed potato and fragrant vanilla.