Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Friday: Crepe-Mushroom Cannelloni with Green Beans

I found out from this meal, that I would NEVER make a good professional crepe maker! Man, I really stink at making these things. Do any of you ever have cooking flops, or bloopers where you were making this elaborate meal and things were just not going right from the beginning? That's what happened to me! Just look at these pathetic crepes. 
 Then, I thought I would try a different pan because mine was too big. Found out too late that the things stuck to the bottom like bubblegum on concrete. 
 But, I am proud to say I stuck with it (Ha, Ha! Literally!), and even though the crepes didn't look all that "pretty" this recipe was very forgiving and I just covered up the crepes with juicy red chopped tomatoes. If you would like to make a "fancy" meal, this would be it. The ingredient list is extensive and it does take a long time to make, but in the end it was delicious. I felt rewarded when my kids ate every last bite!

Crepe Cannelloni Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep: 40-45 minutes Cooking Time: 33 minutes
Mushroom Filling:

1 tsp olive oil
2 (8oz) packages mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 tsp oregano, dried
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 TB tomato paste
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1/2 (2oz) cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 TB (1/4 oz) fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt

Parmesan sauce:

3 TB all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 TB parmesan cheese, grated 

8 basic crepes (see recipe below)
cooking spray
1 (14.5oz) can diced-tomatoes, drained
1 TB (1/4oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
Chopped parsley (optional)

1. Heat oil in nonstick large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Add oregano, garlic and saute 1 minutes. Add wine and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in tomato paste and 1 tsp flour. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in ricotta, 1 TB parmesan and 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.
2. Next, to prepare Parmesan sauce, place 3 TB flour in small saucepan. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and nutmeg. Place over medium heat, cook until thick for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 2 TB Parmesan. Keep warm. 
3. Preheat oven to 425* Fahrenheit. 
4. For cannelloni, spoon 1/4 cup mushroom mix in center of each crepe, roll up. Place, seam sides down, in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. Spoon half of tomatoes over crepes, and top with Parmesan sauce and remaining tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1 TB Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes in oven. If cheese is not lightly browned. Preheat broiler while dish is still in oven. Broil for 3 minutes until cheese is melted and browned. Garnish with parsley.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Make crepes ahead of time.
~Cook mushroom filling ahead of time. 
~Make Parmesan sauce ahead of time and keep in fridge. Warm when ready to use. 
~Grate Parmesan ahead and keep in fridge.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Instead of or in addition to mushrooms, add ground beef, turkey or chicken.  
~Replace crepes with cannelloni noodles.
~Use Romano or Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan.
~Add a couple shakes of chili powder to add a little punch. 


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