Firstly, thank you all for you encouragement and praise on my 1/2 marathon! You guys all put so many smiles on my face. I really, truly appreciate it 🙂
It’s not our anniversary…yet. But Sunday, May 23rd is! Mr. Prevention and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary with my family who just so happens to be visiting next weekend! Which I will allow because they’re bringing the top layer of our wedding cake! Just kidding, I love’em!!! But before the hustle and bustle of the coming week, I wanted to make Mr. Prevention something special to celebrate our nuptials…just the 2 of us 😉
When I ran across Crab-Stuffed Shells on Faith’s blog last week, I knew…that recipe was the one. And to accompany those beautiful shells, I figured Marla’s Roasted Asparagus with Gruyere and Smoked Paprika would compliment perfectly.
While I wanted this meal to be a surprise, Mr. Prevention insisted on coming grocery shopping this week. I guess a week’s worth of rain will do that to a man. Who knew?
As I attempted to flirt/persuade Mr. Prevention into king crab legs versus snow crab legs at the seafood counter, he walked away saying, “Whatever you want, Nicole…I’m fine either way.” Typical. So of course I ask for 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds worth of KING crab legs (self-proclaimed seafood HUSSIE and crab connoisseur right here!). Well, our friendly neighborhood grocery meat man gave a little, “Shhh!” as he placed an additional crab leg (3/4 pound!) into our order….on the house. “Since it’s your anniversary and all”, he said. Score! Mr. Prevention walked over just in time to see this generous act of pilferage kindness, and he was suddenly very grateful I decided to go with the king crab 😉
Feast your eyes on our anniversary meal:
Crab-Stuffed Shells slightly adapted from An Edible Mosaic
12 oz large pasta shells (you’ll use 20)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 3 large clove garlic
1 lb (16 oz) lump crab meat (I used fresh King crab)
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
Béchamel (see below)
3 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded (for topping)
Fresh minced chives (for garnish)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cup milk (I used 1%)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded
Butter, to grease the pan Non-stick cooking spray
9 by 13-inch casserole dish
Cook the pasta to just under al dente according to the package directions. You will have more pasta shells than you need, which is good because some will inevitably break while cooking.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat; add the pepper, celery, and onion and sauté until softened but not brown (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
For the Béchamel: In a medium pot over medium-low heat, warm the milk just until it comes to a very gentle simmer. In a separate medium pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Cook the butter/flour mixture (called a roux) for about 3 minutes (it will be a light blonde color), whisking constantly. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the roux, then add 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil; let it boil for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and whisk in 3 oz Gruyère.
Preheat the oven to 350º F and butter the casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, crab, parsley, 1 c of Béchamel, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stuff the crab mixture into the shells and arrange in the prepared dish; pour the remaining Béchamel on top. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining 3 oz of Gruyère on top and bake another 10 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh minced chives. Yield: 7 servings.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 432 calories; 20.3 g. fat; 64 mg. cholesterol; 1159 mg. sodium; 34.7 g. carbohydrate; 2.4 g. fiber; 27 g. protein
Result: 1) Faith is a wizard in the kitchen and 2) I am SO GLAD we both LOVED this dish! I was a bit nervous trying a new dish for our special meal and Mr. Prevention was skeptical thinking, “It probably sounds a lot better than it is..” Wrong! DELICIOUS! It was so creamy and rich! I do think the king crab and 1% milk were key – this isn’t a meal to skimp on as crab is never cheap. I will most DEFINITELY be making this again, it was divine! We savored every bite, and I cannot wait for leftovers at lunch today! 😀
Roasted Asparagus with Gruyère & Smoked Paprika from Family Fresh Cooking
one bunch of Asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven t0 425˚F
Line a baking sheet with Silpat, parchment or foil. Coat asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and toss with all seasonings. Cook for about 5 minutes toss, cook another 4 minutes. Add cheese & cook for another minute for a total of 10 minutes or so. Cheese should be browned and bubbling. Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Information (per serving): 104 calories; 8 g. fat; 12 mg. cholesterol; 330 mg. sodium; 3 g. carbohydrate; 1.5 g. fiber; 5.5 g. protein
Result: Roasted asparagus is never bad! I don’t think the Gruyere added too much…other than calories. I love the paprika, but I’ll probably go without the cheese next time. 🙂
And Mr. Prevention provided bought a surprise dessert:
It was a wonderful anniversary dinner. Hats off to the chef (it was that good, I can say that!) and to Faith and Marla for their wonderful recipes! Thanks, gals!
I think I caught up with most everyone this weekend (finally!). I’m the reverse of most bloggers — overly busy on the weekdays and underly (not a word, I know!) on the weekends!!! 😉
Question: Do you like crab? If you were to celebrate an anniversary at home, what would you make? Does it have any special meaning behind it?
Have a great week,