Nigel Davidson's Seafood Cannelloni
by Nigel Davidson, Tofino
Raised in New Westminster by his first generation hippie parents, Nigel was the sort of child that would stand tippy-toed beside the stove fascinated by food and cooking. His first recipe was a cheese and tomato melt that was supposedly the best on the block.
As a youth Nigels first restaurant job was in an Italian joint where he fell in love with cheese, basil, prosciutto and the mythical life of a chef that was explained him to be akin to a rock star.
Nigel arrived in Tofino with a sharp knife and a fresh apron ready to dig his teeth in. The Schooner took him in as a line cook where many years later he will have worn every hat in the house from front end manager to executive chef.
This year Nigel with owner Mare Dewars completely renovated the second floor at the Schooner to create Upstairs Dining and Tapas. He can be found there today making beautiful food and dreaming about fishing.
3 large Dungeness crabs
1lb organic baby spinach
2 medium yellow onions sweated
6 cloves of chopped roasted garlic
1 tbsp minced garlic
200g chevre cheese
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
salt & pepper to taste
1 small basket
1 small package fresh basil chopped
solid block parmesan
(the more the better)
3 cups of fish or vegetable stock, halibut stock is best
Cook and clean the crabs extracting their meat. Wilt the spinach then chill and chop. Cut matchstick size pieces of yellow onions, saute them and then chill. Mix all the the fill ingredients, saving the chevre to last so that it doesn't get too mixed up. Roll fresh pasta sheets as thin as possible, or prepare store-bought shells. Stuff the cannelloni shells and place tightly in a standard lasagne pan. Pour in stock until half way up the cannelloni. Top with halved grape tomatoes, fresh chopped basil and then mucho grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at a temperature of 450*C. Serve on top of your favourite pasta cream sauce (saffron lemon cream is suggested). Garnish with more fresh grated parmesan, fresh chives and cracked pepper. Serve pared with a sauvignon blanc and enjoy.