Crab-Stuffed Manicotti with Spinach-Strawberry Salad

I spent a respectable amount of time on Pinterest researching the perfect recipe for our Valentine’s Dinner — celebrated a few days late to allow for schedules. This dish from with a few tweaks was perfect paired with my go-to salad and a Malbec from Chalkboard. The stuffing had more of a lemony flavor than I expected, but it worked with the crab flavor wonderfully. I can’t say enough good things about the salad. It’s healthy, but adds enough sweet and vinegar flavors to make it irresistible. For a little bit of fun, I added strawberries cut like roses with a toothpick as a “stem.” While only one of them really turned out, the kids loved them, and it added color to the plate. Had the strawberries been in season, I think they would have turned out better. I’m counting this one as a hit!

Crab-Stuffed Manicotti

Crabstuffed Manicotti

4 manicotti shells

1 tbsp butter

4 tbsp flour

1 to 2 cups milk

4 tbsp Parmesan cheese

1 cup lump crab meat, drained

1/3 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

1/5 tsp garlic powder

Fresh parsley, minced

1) Cook manicotti shells according to package.

2) Make a roux by melting the butter in a pan and slowly whisking in flour. When combined, slowly whisk in milk until desired consistency is reached. Be sure to go slowly to avoid making the roux too thin.

3) Whisk in Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.

4) In a separate bowl, mix crab meat, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, lemon-pepper seasoning, pepper, and garlic powder.

5) Pour 1/4 of Parmesan sauce on bottom of a 8 x 8 inch pan.

6) Stuff cooked manicotti shells with crab meat mixture and place in pan. Cover with remaining Parmesan sauce.

7) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


Spinach-Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp minced onion

10 oz fresh spinach

1 quart strawberries

1/4 cup almonds

1) In small bowl, combine minced onion, olive oil, white vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, sugar, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. Mix and allow to sit for a minimum of 1 hour.

2) Mix spinach, strawberries, and almonds in a salad bowl.

3) Top with dressing and serve!


Chalkboard Malbec