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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Seafood Stuffed Cannelloni in Spinach Béchamel Sauce

Hubby and I are both big seafood lovers, and we were both very interested in this recipe. It was one from chef Giada De Laurentiis. I added my own touches to come up with the versions below.
Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) box Cannelloni or Manicotti Pasta (about 12 shells)
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Fresh Mozzarella, diced
3/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 Large Egg Yolk
1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves
1/8 cup Chopped Fresh Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley
1 pound Lump Crabmeat
1/2 pound Steamed Shrimp, Deveined, Peeled and Minced, recipe below
1 dozen Sun-Dried Tomato Roasted Scallops, diced, recipe below
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground White Pepper
Spinach Béchamel Sauce, recipe follows

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally,
about 8 to 10 minutes.
Drain pasta.
In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup spinach béchamel sauce, egg yolk, basil, crab, shrimp, old bay, and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in a buttered PYREX baking dish.
Top the filled cannelloni with the Spinach Béchamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and Romano cheeses.
Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Spinach Béchamel Sauce aka Creamed Spinach
I came up with this creamed spinach while trying to duplicate Boston Markets. I was extremely happy with the outcome. I normally add two boxes of spinach when not using the recipe as a sauce.
Ingredients
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter - divided
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Black  Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Half and Half cream
4 ounces Cream Cheese - softened
1/2 teaspoon White Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Vidalia  Sweet Onion - minced
1 Tablespoon Roasted Garlic
1 (10 ounce) box Frozen Chopped Spinach - thawed and drained
1/4 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Stock or Broth
1/8 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 cup Freshly Grated Romano cheese
Directions
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter 3 Tablespoons butter;
Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; cook 1 full minute 
Then slowly whisk in warm cream; stir in cream cheese and sugar.
Increase heat to medium; whisking mixture constantly, until sauce is thick and smooth
Remove from heat, cover to keep warm and set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onions in remaining 2 Tablespoons butter until transparent; stir garlic, spinach and chicken broth into pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover; simmer, stirring occasionally.
Using a wooden spoon, stir spinach mixture into creamy mixture; return to medium-low heat;
Simmer, stirring often, until warmed throughout.
-Remove from heat; fold in parmesan and Romano.

NOTE
Reserve 1/2 cup to add to the cheese filling mixture.

Sun-Dried Tomato Roasted Scallops
If you prefer not to use the oven, you may pan sear the scallops
They're delicious either way.
Ingredients
1/4 cup chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (in oil), roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
2 Tablespoons Pitted Black Olives (about 10 olives), chopped
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 dozen Sea Scallops, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, add the tomatoes, basil, olives, and olive oil and process until finely chopped.
Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.
Rub each scallop with the tomato mixture.
Place scallops in a buttered baking dish.
Bake until scallops are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Cut into chunks, then add to the cheese filling mixture.


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