Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mr. ShoeFanatic is not normally a fan of crossing ethnic boundaries in the kitchen. So when I proposed making Mexican Stuffed Shells, he scoffed at me. But after my success with the Beef Stroganoff and Garlic Knots (coming soon to a blog near you), he said he didn't doubt me.

1.5 lbs ground chuck
1 envelope taco seasoning
3/4 c water
4 oz cream cheese
12-15 Jumbo shells
1 lg jar taco sauce
1 bag shredded cheese (your choice)
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large dutch oven, brown your beef thoroughly. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese. Cover and let simmer until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, boil your noodles as directed. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 dish with Cooking Spray. Pour about half the jar of taco sauce to cover the bottom. When noodles are done, drain and set them individually on a cutting board so they don't touch each other (or they'll stick together). They will be very HOT!

Fill each shell with the meat mixture and place in the dish. Pour the remainder of the taco sauce on top of the shells. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, sprinkle cheese on top and bake for about 10 more minutes uncovered. Serve with your choice of toppings!

Ironically, Mr. ShoeFanatic couldn't eat enough of it and I thought it was just ok. I think my mouth kept expecting tomato sauce. He asked me to cook it again so I probably will. I think I would also use a bit more seasoning next time. Saute an onion with the meat, salt, pepper, cayenne, etc. Overall though, it was a success!


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