L'Aura H. Hoffman
I love Italian food - PASTA!! But, my honey is not such a big fan of pasta. So I devised this recipe to appease his aversion to a pasta dish by making it more like a taco or enchilada since he LOVES Mexican food. So I get the crepe of a manicotti and he gets the spice of Mexican cooking. (I love Mexican food too!)
6 largeeggs - beaten
2 cwater - this is for the crepe batter
3 call purpose flour
3 lb80% lean ground beef
1 pkgoriginal old el paso taco seasoning mix
1 pkghot & spicy old el paso taco seasoning mix
8 oz(1 can) of tomato sauce - like redpack brand
16 ozwater - this is for the meat mix
1 1/2 tspancho chile pepper ground
1 Tbspchipotle chile pepper ground
1 Tbspchili powder
2 bag(s)8 ounes each of shredded mexican blend cheese
8 ozshredded monterey jack cheese - for inside crepe w/meat
1red pepper diced - optional
1green pepper diced - optional
How to Make Mexicotti
- Make the crepes:
Beat together water and beaten eggs, slowly mix in the flour and keep mixing until very smooth with a wire whisk
Brush a fry pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Drop ½ a ladle full of batter onto med-hot fry pan and swirl around to coat in a circular formation. When it appears to have a matte finish, flip the crepe to cook other side for a minute and remove carefully to a clean counter lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Re-brush pan with EVOO and make the next crepe. Continue until all batter is gone – makes about 18 crepes.
- Prepare the meat filling:
Brown the ground beef in a large, high-rimmed, frying pan. Drain grease and return meat & pan to stove. Add taco seasonings, tomato sauce and water and stir to blend completely over low heat. Add ground peppers and chili powder, mix well. Add diced Jalepenos and mix in well. Increase heat to medium-high and keep stirring to bring mixture to a bubbly stage. Remove from heat. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes.
- Place a crepe on a clean counter in front of you and sprinkle some of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top – mostly towards the center. Next, line the middle of the crepe with approx. 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Gently roll the crepe from the end that is parallel to the line of meat filling to cover the meat and finish at the other end of the crepe to have a tube-shaped appearance.
- Place this Mexicotti, seam side down, in the salsa lined pan so it lays parallel to the 9” end of the pan. Repeat this process until the pan is lined from one end to the other with Mexicottis. (If you have any extra meat leftover, save that in the fridge or freezer for nachos.)
Cover the Mexicottis with shredded Mexican Blend cheese. (I like a lot of cheese and tend to use up the two 8 oz. bags between the two trays of Mexicottis I’ve generated.)
Diced Red & Green Peppers sprinkled across the top of the cheese is optional – but adds a nice dash of color and flavor.
- Cover with foil and place in center of pre-heated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes
It should be bubbling on the edges and the cheese completely melted when done
Remove from oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
A spoonful of Sour Cream on the top-center of the manicotti when plated looks and tastes great.
**Hint: since this makes 2 trays, I bake the one tray for dinner and freeze the other tray for a dinner some other time. When you want to bake the frozen tray, just place the tray from the freezer into a pre-heated 400 degree oven with the foil covering still on it for 45 minutes to an hour.