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ENTREES/ Italian/ Pasta

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour

Truth be told, stuffed shells has never really been my thing. Mostly because I always thought it need more flavor. So, the filling in these includes fresh spinach and artichokes and copious amounts of garlic. When making the filling, don't go all bananas measuring. Taste it before you put the egg in to see if it packs enough punch for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 box pasta shells, cooked al dente (pull them out of water about 2 minutes shy of cooking time on box)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (maybe a little more )
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, divided, shredded on a box grater (I like to shred it myself, I feel like the preshredded doesn't get as melty)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped, cooked and drained (you can saute in a little oil or cheat and toss with olive oil and micowave for a bit)
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Fresh Italian parsley or basil, chopped for garnish
  • Extra Parmesan for serving

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2

Combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic, spinach and artichokes in a large bowl and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper and taste it. Now add the egg.

3

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish with about 2 cups of the sauce.

4

Fill each cooked shell with about a tablespoon of filling and arrange on sauce. Sprinkle more mozzarella and Parmesan on top of shells and throw the rest of the sauce on there.

5

Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

6

I like to put it under the broiler for about 2 minutes at the end because I like a crunch top. But keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

ENTREES

Boeuf Bourguignon

Because sometimes you want Boeuf Bourguignon
Like so many home cooks before me, the first recipe I made from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was boeuf bourguignon. I followed the recipe exactly and the end result was impressive; however, it was a ton of work. After peeling 24 baby white onions, I was ready to skip the beef and head right to the bourguignon. Below, I have taken a few shortcuts, but it is still a deeply satisfying meal.

Boeuf Bourguignon

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By Mrs. Kossenfloffer Serves: 6-8
Prep Time: 2 hours Cooking Time: 3 hours

A hearty meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bacon, cut into lardons (1/4 inch sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds stewing beef,cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1 inch chucks
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock (or more)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 ounces frozen baby onions
  • 1 pound button or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • fresh parsley for serving

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2

In a large Dutch oven, saute the bacon in the oil until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Dry the beef with paper towels. Do not skip this step. The beef will not brown if it is wet and a lot of the flavor will come from browning of the beef. Raise the heat. Working in batches, brown the beef in the oil and bacon fat on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot. Remove the beef and add it to the bacon.

3

Saute the carrot and onion in the fat and cook until the onions are light brown.

4

Return the beef and bacon to the pot and add the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the beef and toss it around until everything is evenly coated. Set the Dutch oven in the oven, uncovered for 8 minutes. Give it a good toss about halfway through. (This step is worth keeping in because it browns the flour.) Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

5

Stir in the wine and stock so that the beef is just covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours until the beef is very tender.

6

While the beef is cooking prepare the mushrooms and onions. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onions and saute until they are browned. Add the onions to the stew. In the same pan add a little more butter and sauce the mushrooms until they are browned. Add the mushrooms to the stew. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

7

At this point, you can freeze the stew for later use. Defrost in the refrigerator one day before you plan to serve it.

8

Reheat the stew in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve right out of the pot with a good sourdough, crusty French bread or over egg noodles. Don’t forget the wine.