Recently we were supposed to have a big “Post-Holiday Party” for all of Rich’s far-away friends but everyone ended up not being able to come (and even our local friends couldn’t make it). I had a pan of Ricotta-Spinach Stuffed Shells all ready to go already for our guests though. Since my parents were hanging out with the dogs while we hit the slopes we decided to bring dinner over. The shells were awesome (I used the sauce from my Venison Meatballs) but the pictures were not (guess I will have to make them again!)
After making my awesome Italian shells I had about a half-dozen shells already cooked that I ran out of filling and then another dozen or so shells in the box that didn’t get cooked the first time. I then stumbled across a brilliantly amazing recipe for MEXICAN Stuffed Shells (think Enchiladas but in a pasta shell instead of taco shell)
- apprx 15 jumbo shells
- 1 chicken breast (boiled in seasoning [taco] & shredded)
- 1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 can refried beans
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 oz. cream cheese [optional]
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1 can of your favorite enchilada sauce
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- any other Mexican toppings of choice (cilantro, avocado, sour cream)
Boil your chicken breast with cayanne pepper, cumin, & chili powder for approx 15 minutes (just until you can easily shred it). Let it set in the flavored water for a few minutes to soak up the flavors then dump out the liquid and pour in your can of refried beans as well as your green onions (scallions), garlic, and sour cream. Mix all ingredients well, turning the heat back on if needed. Let the mixture cool while your shells are cooking
Pre-heat your oven to 350. Cook jumbo shells in boiling water until al dente (follow box directions). Drain and rinse with cold water. Pour 1/2 of your salsa & enchilada sauce in bottom of a large baking dish. Stuff each shell with your mixture and place in baking dish Cover with the other half of the enchilada sauce & salsa, then with cheddar cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let cool a few minutes so your mouth can actually enjoy this and not burn your face off! Place on a plate and top with your favorite Mexican toppings & ENJOY!
Remember what I keep telling you… think outside the box & don’t be afraid to experiment! MEXICAN would not be what comes to my mind first when I think of STUFFED SHELLS – but combining these two different origins really works.
Get in the kitchen & (think) out of the box!