jump to navigation

Crab and Boursin Spring Lasagna May 16, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, fish, good for a group.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

A week before Mother’s Day, I started thinking about what to make for our now-annual family get-together at our house.  For the past few years, both Ryan’s family and my family have come over for a Mother’s Day dinner, and I wanted to make something that we haven’t made before, something that would please everyone, and something that would make enough for ten people to eat.  I think the past few years we made salmon one year, spinach artichoke pies another, and enchiladas for some other family gathering, but no lasagna or pasta dishes.

I remembered seeing a segment on the news a while back where a chef from 24 Grille in Detroit made a seemingly easy-to-make crab lasagna roll-up.  I googled it, and came across this recipe and video.  If you read the recipe and watch the video, you’ll notice that the way the recipe is written up is not at all like it is done in the video.  I debated for a day or two whether I should scrimmage the recipe before making it on Mother’s Day but ultimately decided not to, because it makes a lot of food and Ryan would be the only one eating it.  How hard could it be, right?  I even had a video to follow!

Well…it didn’t turn out like the roll-ups in the video.   I went from Plan A to Plan oh-my-god-what-am-I-going-to-do and feared I might have to go to Plan order-a-pizza.  But in the end, it all turned out!!  And it turned out great!  I ended up making a big pan of lasagna, and used no-boil lasagna noodles instead of the pre-boiled ones.  It looked realllllly soupy before it went into the oven, and I was SURE we’d be eating Hot-and-Ready pizzas for dinner, but somehow, miraculously, it all turned out.  I think it was the use of the no-boil noodles.  They soaked up a lot of the excess moisture as the lasagna baked and it was set up perfectly when it was time for it to come out of the oven.

Oh, a note—I made a mini vegetarian version of this for myself at the same time.  I mixed a portion of the cooked vegetables described below with boursin cheese, and layered the veggies and boursin alternately with sauce and noodles, and topped it all with cheese before baking.

Crab and Boursin Spring Lasagna
(Printable Recipe)

crab lasagna


1 1/2 pounds (or about 22-24 ounces) of crab meat
16 ounces Boursin cheese
Sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch segments
2 zucchini, diced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
24 ounces marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1 package Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles


Chop the asparagus, carrots, and zucchini into 1/2-inch segments.  Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan, and cook the veggies, basil, thyme, and a little salt and peper over medium heat until tender-crisp.  Remove from the heat and set aside while you get the crab ready.

In a small sauce pan, melt the boursin over low heat, stirring frequently.  You don’t want it to be liquidy, but soft enough to make it easily spreadable.

Meanwhile, in yet another pan (or the veggie one cleaned out), heat a little olive oil.  Drain the crab (if necessary) and cook in the olive oil for about 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle in some Old Bay seasoning.  When the boursin cheese is sufficiently melted, stir the crab into the cheese.

Prep a 9 x 13 lasagna pan by spraying it lightly with oil.  Spread 1/2 cup marinara on the bottom.  Layer your first layer of noodles on top of the marinara.  Spread a layer of crab/boursin on top of that.  Top with half of the veggies, some sauce, and then another layer of noodles.  Repeat by spreading the crab/boursin on top of the noodles, sprinkling the remaining veggies on top of that, layering another layer of noodles, topping THOSE noodles with sauce, and finally, sprinkling the shredded Italian blend cheese on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Watch to see when the cheese is nicely browned, it should be done then.  Remove from the oven and let it rest at least 10 minutes to allow it to set.


Really Easy Baked Parmesan Shrimp January 4, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, fish, quick meal.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

Sometimes, I am a nice wife and make a fish or chicken dinner for Ryan.  This one was incredibly easy and used ingredients that I always have on hand.  The best kind of meal!  I usually keep a bag of Trader Joe’s large pre-cooked shrimp in the freezer.  Sometimes I’ll add them to pasta or stir fry for Ryan but this was a little departure from the shrimp-norm around our house.  The verdict?  Ryan said he’d “eat ten more plates of this” so I take that to mean it is a keeper.

Baked Parmesan Shrimp

baked parmesan shrimp

Ingredients (to serve one):

8-10 medium or large pre-cooked shrimp
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit. If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw them in a bowl of room temperature water for 10-15 minutes.  While they are thawing, prep your marinade and breading.

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.  In another bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  When the shrimp are thawed, toss them in the olive oil and lemon marinade, and season with salt and pepper.

One by one, remove them from the olive oil and lemon marinade, and toss them in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  When all of the shrimp are on the sheet, spray the tops lightly again with the spray, and then bake in the oven for about 7-8 minutes, or until the tops start to turn golden.

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce and Shrimp (or Zucchini) September 2, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, fish, quick meal.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

Let’s make this quick!  This was delicious!!!  And also super quick and easy to make.  I made myself a vegetarian version using zucchini slices in place of the shrimp, which Ryan ate.  You can use any sort of noodle you might like, but I had a package of garlic basil linguine from Trader Joe’s that was really tasty in this dish.  I divided everything in half and had three burners going at once: a pot of boiling water for the pasta, one skillet for the shrimp portion, and one skillet for the zucchini portion.  If you’re not splitting the meal up in this way, you’ll just need one skillet. The basil parmesan toasts were an afterthought but really turned out nicely and went well with this dish.

Linguine with Tomato Cream Sauce and Shrimp (or Zucchini)
(Adapted slightly and made vegetarian-friendly from Eat, Live, Run)

Linguine with Shrimp and Zucchini

4 ounces shrimp (about 6-7 medium shrimp)
1 small zucchini, sliced into thin coins
1 can or jar of diced tomatoes (or equivalent of fresh chopped tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz. dry pasta (I used Trader Joe’s garlic basil linguine but any long pasta would be nice)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

If you are using frozen shrimp, thaw them for about 10 minutes in a bowl of cool water.

Put a pot of water on to boil.  Cook the pasta in boiling salted water. Meanwhile, heat your skillet(s) to high heat, adding the oil once the pan is hot. Quickly add the shrimp and cook for about fifteen to twenty seconds, just till the tails start to curl upwards. Do the same for the zucchini.  Immediately add the garlic and saute for about ten more seconds.

Now, add the diced tomatoes (undrained–you’ll want the juices) and heavy cream and stir everything together. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Serve with basil and Parmesan cheese.

Basil Parmesan Toast
Basil parmesan toastIngredients:
2 pieces of artisan bread (I used sourdough)
Cooking spray
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Few sprinkles of fresh chopped basil
Just a little bit of shredded mozzarella


Pre-heat your oven broiler. Spray one side of the bread lightly with cooking spray.  Lightly (very lightly!) butter the other side, and smear the minced garlic into the butter.  Top with the parmesan cheese, sprinkle on the basil, and top with just a tiny bit of shredded mozzarella.  Put them in to broil in the oven for only about 2-3 minutes, watching so to make sure they don’t burn! 🙂

Chipotle Cheddar Baked Salmon (or Tempeh!) August 6, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in fish.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

If I am making a fish or chicken dinner for Ryan, I’ll often make a vegetarian version using the same flavors for myself.  I wanted to try this baked salmon recipe I found on the Brianna’s dressing website the other day, and decided a nice slab of tempeh would be a good substitute for salmon.  I prepared the tempeh and the salmon exactly the same way (see below) but in the end, my tempeh was not as moist the salmon, which was bubbling in a nice pool of sauce when we took it out of the oven.  No big deal, though…I just added more sauce on top of my tempeh at the end.   I asked Ryan about a million times if the salmon was good and he assured me it was delicious and that he’d love to eat it again—that’s the hardest part about cooking meat when you don’t eat it—I have no idea if it needed more spice, more sauce, less of anything, etc.

We ate this last night with a side of the bruschetta casserole.

Chipotle Cheddar Baked Salmon (or Tempeh!)
(Modified slightly from Brianna’s dressing)

Chipotle Cheddar Baked Salmon


1 half-pound salmon fillet (Note: If you are using tempeh, follow the same directions below but top the tempeh with another drizzle of sauce after cooking)

Lemon juice to taste (about 1 tbsp)

Dill to taste (a few pinches)

Smoked paprika to taste (a few pinches)

Non-stick spray

Brianna’s Chipotle Cheddar Dressing (1-2 tbsp)


Place salmon piece on foil that has been coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with paprika and dill, and add lemon juice to taste and 1–2 tablespoons of  Chipotle Cheddar Dressing.

Fold foil to envelope all and seal by curling the ends together. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Open the foil envelope and allow the top to broil for 3–4 minutes more.

Lazy Dinner for One: The Tuna Melt May 26, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in fish, quick meal.
1 comment so far

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I was cooking for myself for a few days.  Cooking for one can go to either extreme for me—I’ll go all out and try new recipes for meals that only I would really love, or I’ll be completely lazy and eat like a child—veggie nuggets, bread and peanut butter, chip snacks.  That was me this weekend, alternating meals between toast spread with peanut butter and pizza bread, which is just what it sounds like—a piece of bread slathered with tomato sauce, sprinkled with mozzarella and spices, and tossed in the oven.  I do believe every single breakfast I ate during high school was either pizza bread or rice pilaf with steak sauce.  I have never been afraid of carbs!

Ryan’s home now, though, but my laziness in the kitchen has continued, mostly due to the weather.  Turning on the oven will raise the temperature in the house a few degrees, and for a small house with no central air, that is not a comfortable situation.  We’ve been grilling outside, but last night I had to bite the bullet and turn on the oven, making yet another pizza bread for myself and a tuna melt for Ryan.  Here is the lazy person’s guide to making a quick tuna melt. No picture of the finished product–it was consumed too quickly to be caught on camera!

Tuna Melttuna melt ingredients


1 can of tuna, drained (I use a small 5 oz can when I’m making only one of these)
2 tbs mayo
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large dill pickle, diced
1 – 2 tsp dill pickle juice (or, if you can’t be bothered to chop a pickle, just use 2 tsp dill relish instead)
1/8 cup grated cheddar + extra for sprinkling on top
1 large pitas

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread on a large pita.  Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top.  Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted on top.  Put it under the broiler for another minute or two for extra golden cheese. Done!