Incredible Shrinking Seafood Lasagna
It’s Ellen’s birthday tomorrow (Monday, July 28). It’s also Jen Groff’s birthday (Friday, July 25). It’s a celebration. This auspicious occasion calls for something special. I need to produce a masterpiece. On several occasions E has suggested that her dream meal would be a seafood lasagna, and I have yet to produce such a dish.
Tonight’s the night.
Jen’s here, and the rents (E’s parents) are here, the girls are here, and something special is required, and I’ve got just the ticket.
I found this recipe at Cooking Light. As I am wont to do, I can’t leave well enough alone, because I think I know better. In this case, I think I’ve improved the on the original without upsetting the karma produced by it. It’s still light, following the dictum of Cooking light, but it tastes rich and creamy WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF BUTTER!
That’s right…no butter in this dish, and if you follow the ingredients list carefully you will find that it is all that it ought to be without the butter. I’ve got to say, it looks incredible, and we will be tasting it in about an hour. I expect that I have hit the mark. I can usually tell if I’ve got it right, and I think I did so here.
Try this recipe for yourself. Even though there will be several pots and bowls to wash, it’s relatively simple, and the aroma in the kitchen right now is absolutely off hook. Can’t wait to try this. I’d be interested to hear if any of you try this one, and how it came out for you. Mine looks like a home run. And as to the “shrinking” moniker? Just wait until you see how it shrinks in the pan as your guests ask for seconds.
Here’s the rundown:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 5 cups finely chopped mushrooms (about 1 pound)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 12-16 ounces lump crabmeat (how much crabmeat do you wish?)
- 1 pound uncooked large shrimp
- 1 8-0z bottle clam juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) crumbled goat or feta cheese
- 1 cup 2% reduced-fat cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Old Bay or other seafood seasoning, to taste.
- Spanish paprika to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, thyme, and 2 garlic cloves and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine, bring to a boil; cook over low heat until the liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in the crabmeat, and set aside.
Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving shells. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise; cover and refrigerate. Combine reserved shrimp shells, the clam juice and water, celery salt, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1 1/2 cups shrimp stock (about 15 minutes). Strain stock through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids and set aside.
Combine the feta or goat cheese, cottage cheese, basil, lemon juice, and 1 garlic clove; set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place flour in a small saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Stir in shrimp stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles, slightly overlapping, over sauce; top with one-third goat cheese mixture, one-third crab mixture, one-third shrimp, 2/3 cup sauce, and 2/3 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers twice, ending with mozzarella. Sprinkle the top with as much seafood seasoning as you like and a light dusting of paprika. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.