Friday, March 16, 2012

Instant Gratification!

crab stuffed manicotti

Have you ever seen something and the moment you saw it you, you knew you had to have it?  This is how I felt when I saw Giada's crab stuffed manicotti.  We were sitting around the house feeling sorry for ourselves because we were sick and happened to be watching Ms. DeLaurentiis.  I was half paying attention but the more I heard about this dish the straighter I was sitting.  Josh comments, "You can make that anytime for me.". SOLD!  I have been thinking about how I would make this my own.  Giada used basil in the filling and I chose to use garlic sauteed spinach.  Other than that I didn't mess with the recipe at all.  Giada also said you can spoon the mixture in the manicotti but I found piping in the mixture to be much more faster and effective.  I like instant gratification.  I generally ask Josh to rate my dishes.  The first time I ask he will always give me a 12, then I ask again and he will give me his honest opion.  Today I got a 9.5!  I will take it gladly.  It was truly yummy.  My only suggestion would be to serve it with something that would cut through the richness.  I was only able to get through 1.5 manicottis. 

Sauteed some spinach with garlic
mixed in the ricotta, crabmeat, egg, and spinach mixture (forgot the cheese here)
made a bechamel
stuffed the manicotti first by spoon then piped it in
look how pretty it looks!

Giada DeLaurentiis Crab Stuffed Manicotti:
recipe from Giada 

1 box (8 ounces) cannelloni or manicotti pasta (about 12 shells)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sauteed spinach
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

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, egg yolk, basil, crab, salt, and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in a buttered baking dish. Top the filled cannelloni with the Bechamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Bechamel Sauce:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, about 10 minutes (do not allow the sauce to boil). Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. (The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)