Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Many of you asked so here it is.  My disclaimer is that I am going from memory and I wasn't measuring anything.

Mexican Stuffed Shells
18-20 large pasta shells, cooked & cooled
*Enchilada sauce http://www.recipegirl.com/2006/05/01/enchilada-sauce/
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. chile powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
2 tsp. coriander
1 cn. black beans, drained
1/2 cup ricotta
2 cups grated Mexican blend cheese

Prepare enchilada sauce.  Brown ground beef & drain.  Put a little more fat (oil of your choice) in pan and sauté onion until beginning to soften.  Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.  Then add chile powder, cumin, oregano, coriander (all my measurements are guesstimates because I didn't measure) & ground beef.  Cook for 1 minute then add in 1/2 a cup (or so) of enchilada sauce.  Add black beans & more enchilada sauce if too dry.  Cook just until mixture is warm through.  Remove from heat and stir in ricotta (again no measurement-just add enough to make the mixture hold together), 1/2 cup grated cheese & a couple handfuls of cilantro (to taste).  Preheat oven to 375.  Ladle some enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 11x7 baking dish.  Stuff shells with meat mixture, don't skimp here.  Be careful not to split shells, it helps to cook them very al dente.  Nestle stuffed shells into pan tightly and ladle the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the top.  You can use less if you prefer.  Bake for 20-30 minutes until mixture becomes bubbly.  Remove and add the remainder of the grated cheese over the top (we like lots of cheese).  Put back in oven until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle more cilantro over the top and serve!

* Her (easy and very yummy) recipe called for onion salt & garlic powder.  I used onion powder & garlic salt because that is what I had.  I also added more cumin and Mexican oregano.  Again, I tasted and added what I wanted.

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