First off, I apologize for the lack of posts lately. The last five days or so were a tad busy, and I didn't get to do a whole lot of cooking. Hopefully I will be able to make it up to you. Tonight was all about taste.
Tonight it is all about manicottis, made with crepes as opposed to the store-bought manicotti shells and, these actually have flavor..... So follow me and you can't go wrong!
In a blender, add the following:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbs melted butter
Pulse for 10 seconds, just enough to blend everything. Put the batter in the fridge for as long as you can before cooking the crepes. They ask for 1 hour, but I never seem to have that long!
Heat a small fry pan to about medium. You want it hot enough to quickly cook them. You'll have to play with it until you get it just right. Don't worry, after the first one or two, you will figure it out!
So, I spray a little Pam in the fry pan, then pour enough batter to cover the bottom of the fry pan. Pour enough so that they won't be too thin. When you see it solidify, use a silicone spatula and flip the crepe over. Another 15-20 seconds and it should be done....that is if you have the pan hot enough. Like I said, play around with the first one or two. You will know when you have the right heat.
As they cool on the rack, you can begin to fill them, but I haven't even told you how to make the filling yet, so let's move on!
Use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a large tub of ricotta cheese. Cut up a bunch of fresh parsley and 3-4 scallions. Crush 3 cloves of garlic, a generous sprinkle of nutmeg. I had a bag of langostinos (mini lobster tails) in my freezer that I decided to use. You could add crab meat, cut up shrimp, or whatever seafood you choose....Fresh ground salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese should do it.
The only other thing I added was some fresh chopped spinach. Again, make it simple. If you have frozen spinach, defrost, drain and use that. If you have fresh arugula, use that. It's all about trial and error. Try adding some frozen corn, or maybe some other vegetable you like. You can't lose with this recipe!
Now for the fun part.....actually, the really easy part. If you have ever tried to stuff the store-bought manicottis that you pre-cook, you know what I am talking about when I say it is really hard to fill them! They fall apart so easily! Well, using the crepes you made is so much easier, and they taste so much better! Just put a spoonful of stuffing down the middle of the crepe and fold both sides around it. Place them in the pan, seam-side down, that you have placed some sauce in.
When you are done, put more sauce over the top and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, just until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
|How delicious does this look???|