Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Crab Cannelloni with Roasted Garlic Shrimp

A few years ago, on the way home from a trip to the river, we stopped and bought several pounds of fresh crabmeat. We ate one of them, I am thinking I made crab cakes, but we froze 2 more pounds for the holiday season. I love to make hot crab dip when I entertain, and the price of crab goes up astronomically around the holidays here in VA. I'd also planned a luncheon for a group of ladies. I was looking for something to make a pound of crab meat feed a lot of people when I came across Giada's recipe for Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni on the Food Network website, so I made that. It was a HUGE hit, but I knew I could put my own spin on it and make it more my own. I've made it twice more, changing a few things up, and the last batch hit the nail on the head, flavor wise, at least for our family. This recipe makes 12 - 14 filled cannelloni shells, so it will feed 6 - 12 people, depending on what else you are having with it. One cannelloni for lunch is quite enough, it's a pretty rich recipe. For dinner I'd count 1 1/2 to 2 per person.  
A special thanks to my sweet cousin from across the country who took these pictures! It was great having you here! 
Crab Cannelloni with Roasted Garlic Shrimp

Crab Cannelloni with Roasted Garlic Shrimp
1 package cannelloni or manicotti pasta tubes ( 12 - 14 pieces )
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 c. low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1 c. grated parmesan, divided use
1/4 c. fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
White sauce, recipe follows
Roasted Garlic Shrimp, recipe follows.

Butter a 13' X 9" baking dish. 
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the crab, eggs, ricotta,  3/4 c. parmesan, Old Bay, salt, pepper and basil. Mix gently until just combined, being careful not to break up the crab too much. Fill each cannelloni shell with the crab mixture. Place them in the baking dish. Cover with the white sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 c. parmesan cheese. At this point you may bake the casserole or cover it and hold it for up to 2 days. To bake, bring it to room temperature and bake covered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the edges are bubbly and starting to brown slightly. Remove from oven and add the roasted shrimp on top. 

White Sauce for Cannelloni
5 T. butter
1/4 c. all purpose flour
3.5 cups 1% milk, warmed up a little in the microwave
1/2 c. dry white wine or champagne (I used Korbel Brut Sparkling wine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour until it is completely incorporated into the butter. Add the milk, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, add the wine, salt and pepper. Continue to warm the sauce, stirring so that no lumps form. It will begin to bubble around the edges. Turn the heat down to low and add the nutmeg. The sauce will thicken quickly, but you don't want to let it get to a full rolling boil. When it gets thick and easily coats the back of a spoon, turn it off and cover it until you need to use it. 

Roasted Garlic Shrimp
24 large or extra large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Mix the above ingredients together and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Place the shrimp into the oven for the last 8 minutes you are cooking the crab cannelloni. The shrimp are done when they are opaque. Remove both dishes from the oven and arrange the shrimp on top of  the crab dish. 
I also made a yummy green salad, with fresh strawberries and blueberries, red onion, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese, lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. It was yummy! Nothing like fresh berries when they are in season!! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Leftover Salmon again?

A little while back, I posted about a Cedar Plank Salmon that I had cooked on the grill ( see post here ). Since there are only 2 of us at home these days on a permanent basis, just me and the hub, once again, I was faced with leftover salmon. I've had salmon leftover before (salmon spread ) and we always enjoy it. However, I wasn't sure how the cedar plank salmon would be as a spread, since the glaze on it was fairly strong. So, I made some wraps for lunch a few days later. My husband loved them -- the smoky flavor was fairly pronounced,which added a lot of interest and unusual layers. They were vaguely Asian in flavor, but I used high fiber soft flour tortillas to wrap them in, so lets call them Asian Fusion Wraps!

Asian Fusion Wraps

2 cups Hoisin glazed salmon, leftover from Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
2 cups broccoli slaw mixture (or any slaw mixture your family likes)
1 T. lime juice
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
a pinch of salt
2 T. hoisin sauce
2 soft flour tortillas
In a small bowl mix the dressing for the slaw, using the lime juice, vinegar, soy, sugar and salt. Add the slaw mixture and combine with the dressing. 
 Let the slaw sit for about 30 minutes so that the flavors combine. Start building your wraps, by smearing a little Hoisin sauce on each tortilla and adding the salmon. 

Top each one with some of the slaw. 

Roll those babies up and enjoy your treat! Leftover salmon is the BEST!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How about a little wine?

I've been taking an online class about wine for the last 2 weeks, and I've created a blog post detailing what we've been tasting at our house and out and about. I've got a job -- yes a real job -- to demonstrate wine at different grocery stores. I taste each wine when I open it and then talk about it all afternoon, hopefully selling a few bottles along the way. It's awesome and I love it! Here's a link to my blog about my recent adventures in wine land:

I hope you enjoy reading about what I've tasted and learned! I did!