Monday, July 12, 2010

Manicotti with Crepes

My original motivation for learning how to make crepes was more savory than sweet. Rich's favorite meal is manicotti, and yes, he loves his mama's best. I've come to terms with the fact that her macaroni and cheese is like heaven, and she's had the corner on manicotti for years. But I think I may have finally developed an upper hand with these crepe manicotti. Now, if I could just master her marinara. ;-) Seriously, my mother-in-law is a great cook, but these are awesome and make enough for three meals for a family of four (assuming one large crepe per person). I include directions for freezing and reheating at the end.

Crepe Manicotti (makes 12 large crepes)
1 cup flour
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1 TB melted butter or canola oil

2 lbs ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 TB Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Sauce and mozzarella topping: 1 jar of sauce will be enough for one dish of four manicotti (I froze the rest). Also, about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella will top it off.

Preheat oven to 350'.
1.) In a blender, mix all crepe ingredients except butter/oil until smooth.
2.) Heat non-stick pan and melt butter or heat oil on medium heat.
3.) Pour out enough of the crepe batter into the pan to fill 2/3 of the pan and then swirl the batter to the outer edges of the pan in a circular motion until the batter sets.
4.) Cook until the crepe starts to pull away from the edges of the pan and curl inward, about 1-2 mins.
5.) Flip the crepe and cook another minute on the other side, then slide off onto a plate.
6.) Repeat, stacking the crepes as you go, until you have around a dozen crepes.
7.) In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the cheese filling.
8.) Spread 1/3 cup of the cheese filling on the edge of each crepe and roll up.

9.) Place all but four crepes seam-side down on a tray lined with parchment paper and place in freezer for several hours.
10.) Pour enough marinara to cover the bottom of a 9" pan and place the four reserved, large manicotti crepes on top. Top with more marinara and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
11.) Cover pan with oiled foil and place in oven. Bake 20 mins until bubbly. Remove foil and bake until browned, another 10 mins. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
12.) Frozen crepes: When the remaining 9 crepes are frozen, wrap them individually in foil and place in a freezer bag. To reheat later, follow steps 10-11, baking the crepes frozen and adding 10-15 minutes for baking them while covered with foil.

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