We had a great time with Dave’s parents during their four-day visit. Having them over for dinner after I got back from work on Friday made me wish we could love in the same town and have family dinners and game nights on a regular basis. We’d love to one day move back to Dave’s home town, Portland, OR, but academic careers don’t often allow people to freely choose where they live. Fortunately, we love Central PA as well and enjoyed showing off our favorite spots.
After boating at Bald Eagle State Park and fire works at the foot of Mount Nittany on the 4th, they came out to Woolrich to see where I work on the 5th. They got a mill tour and we had lunch at Leo’s in Lock Haven, a small and delicious, authentic Italian deli place my co-workers and I love.
I had a mozzarella sandwich, which is my favorite. Their bread is so fresh and amazing.
When I got home, I started making one of my specialties – salmon lasagna. I learned how to make this when I worked at a restaurant during college in Germany.
– 12 cooked lasagna sheets (boiled in oiled and salted water for 10 minutes)
– 18 ounces cooked salmon (I used Trader Joe’s wild Pacific salmon)
– 2 16 oz. bags of frozen spinach, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s organic)
– 1.5 cups of Hollandaise Sauce (can buy ready-to-eat at TJ’s)
– medium bag of shredded cheese (I used a three-cheese blend)
– Garlic salt and pepper
After boiling the lasagna sheets, I put the pot in the sink and run cold water into it until I can touch the pasta sheets. I separate them and put them on a plate, alternating a horizontal one and then a vertical one. I end up using only 9 sheets for the lasagna, but cook 12 because there is always potential of some breaking. It helps to stir the sheets up while they’re cooking in oiled water a few times.
While the sheets are cooking, cook the spinach and press it in a colander; then spice it thoroughly with garlic salt and pepper.
Now, line up all the ingredients to assemble the lasagna.
The Hollandaise cups from Trader Joe’s are a pricey alternative to packets, but buying them ready-to-eat saved me some time.
I used one and a half of these packets and saved the rest in a zip lock bag.
For assembly, begin with a layer of Hollandaise sauce, then add three sheets of lasagna next to each other lengthwise in a casserole dish. Add another layer of Hollandaise sauce, then spinach, then salmon. Add a new layer of pasta sheets and repeat, then another. Add Hollandaise sauce at the top of each layer as well as the bottom to hold them sheets together better. Finally, sprinkle with cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40ish minutes. Check the oven to see how the cheese is doing. You can decide how brown you want it to get.
I served this with some fresh, white baguette, which we also had with brie, olive oil, and wine for appetizers. Dave’s parents loved the lasagna and Dave and I enjoyed the left-overs two days later for lunch.
For desert, I went the easy route and bought Trader Joe’s Creme Brulee.
As you can see, pretty much the entire meal was courtesy of Trader Joe’s. I was working and had limited prep-time, so going the ready-to-eat route with a lot of the ingredients was ideal for me.
Dave and his dad did the dishes, we all went for a walk around the neighborhood, and then we taught his parents how to play “Settlers of Catan,” during which we enjoyed more chocolate and wine.