If we had to be stranded on an island with only one cut of meat, I think we’d probably both take a medium-rare filet. But if you could promise me that they’re super fresh, we could make a really strong case to take King Crab instead.
We love, love, love king crab legs. Gently steamed for a few minutes in a foil pouch in the oven, the meat needs little else than just to be removed from the shell, if you ask me. That stuff is so good, clarified butter is most definitely optional.
The most memorable meals can pop up in the most random of places, as long as the company is good. The night that the hurricane hit, my husband and I enjoyed a fantastic meal of grill-it-or-lose-it steaks with roasted red peppers and herbed goat cheese with our friends. No lights. No A/C. Plenty of wine. We were so roughin’ it.
Hands-down, our top vacation meal was a fantastic white lasagna at a loud, crowded, tourist-filled Italian place while on vacation in Breckenridge a few weeks ago. Not the place I’d peg for the freshest seafood on the planet but still… 3 layers of creamy, cheesy white sauce loaded with shrimp and scallops (and while the menu advertised crab, I never found it).
As we dissected each bite, my husband suggested how we’d make it at home (with king crab!). And make it better (with king crab!). We couldn’t find the crab in our dish that night but even if we did, I’m certain that it wouldn’t have lived up to my husband’s expectations (because it wasn’t king crab).
I served this White Lasagna with a big fat side of nothing. The lasagna was a meal all itself. Between the seafood, the pasta, and the cheeses, I’ll be completely honest – a salad would have just taken up valuable real estate in our stomachs. It was a balanced meal, though. There was spinach in it.
White Seafood Lasagna
A rich, decadent white lasagna loaded with scallops, shrimp, and crab.
- 3 Alaskan King Crab legs (or 1 8-12 oz package of crab, picked over for shells)
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 lb large scallops
- 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled, tails removed, and deveined
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 6 Tbsp flour
- 4 cups milk
- 8 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
- 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 8 oz grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 lb lasagna noodles, cooked for 5 minutes and drained
- Cook the seafood: Preheat the oven to 350. Form a large foil pouch around the king crab legs. Before sealing tightly, add 1/4 cup water. Heat 8-10 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven, carefully open the pouch to vent the steam, and let cool a bit. Crack the shells and place the meat in a medium bowl. Lightly shred any extremely large pieces but don’t over shred.
- Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel. Place in the pan and cook 5-6 minutes, stirring a couple of times (because I had ginormous scallops, I first cut them into approx 1 inch cubes before cooking). Drain the scallops and place in the bowl with the crab meat.
- Rinse the shrimp. Poach in a pot of simmering water until cooked through. Strain and place in the bowl with the crab meat and scallops. Add a pinch of salt, some white pepper, and toss to mix.
- Make the white sauce: Melt butter in sauce pan over medium high heat and add garlic. Cook until very fragrant but don’t let the garlic brown (about 3 minutes). Whisk in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk 1 cup at a time, whisking until smooth and lump-free after each addition. Cook an additional 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally and taking care that the bottom does not scorch. Remove from heat and whisk in salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Make the ricotta filling: Mix spinach, 1/2 cup parmesan, ricotta, egg, all of the mozzarella, salt, white pepper, and 1 cup white sauce in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Assemble and cook: Spread 1 cup of white sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in the pan and spread half of the ricotta-spinach mixture over the noodles, covering completely. Top with 1/2 cup white sauce.
- Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in the pan and add all of the crab-shrimp-scallops, spreading to distribute evenly. Sprinkle half of the remaining parmesan cheese over the seafood layer and top with 1/2 cup white sauce.
- Arrange 3 lasagna noodles in the pan and spread the remaining ricotta-spinach mixture over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup white sauce.
- Add the remaining 3 lasagna noodles, remaining white sauce, and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top.
- Place in the oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Yields: 12-15 servings
Estimated time: 2 hours