COOK OF THE WEEK RECIPES: Jane Black

By NEMS Daily Journal

Stuffed Manicotti
1 1/2 pounds ground round
1/2 cup whole milk
1 slice whole wheat or white bread or 6 to 8 crushed crackers
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 to 11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
6 cups boiling water
Bolognese or Ragu sauce
Mozzarella slices
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mix ground round with milk-soaked bread. Add eggs, onion, garlic and spices. Stuff raw mixture into uncooked manicotti shells. Place shells in a large baking dish. Pour water over, making sure to cover the noodles. Cover with foil and cook for 1 to 11/2 hours at 350 degrees.
Remove cooked stuffed manicotti from pan and place in a 9×13-inch serving dish. Cover with sauce and slices of fresh Mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over all and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest before serving.
Note: If any meat mixture is leftover after shells are stuffed, freeze it for next time or cook as little hamburgers.
Serves 6 to 8.
Bolognese Meat Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped pancetta or unsmoked bacon
1 carrot, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 ounces ground round
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup red wine (or more)
1/2 cup milk
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan. Sautampé onion, pancetta, carrot, garlic and ground round, cooking until vegetables are tender and meat is browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine, milk, tomatoes and spices. Simmer at least 30 minutes or all day, if desired, stirring occasionally.
Use over stuffed manicotti or over pasta of your choice.
Basic Crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, eggs, milk and melted butter. Refrigerate mixture for 3 to 4 hours.
Brush a 6-inch non-stick pan with a little butter and place over heat. Pour a little batter in the pan and tilt and rotate the pan so the batter covers the whole bottom (this may take a little practice). After less than a minute, turn crepe over and cook the other side until lightly browned. Remove crepe to a plate and put a small square of wax paper on top to keep crepes from sticking together. Repeat process with remaining batter.
Makes about 2 dozen.
Note: These crepes can be frozen. Place a piece of wax paper between each crepe. Wrap entire bundle of crepes in plastic wrap or foil.
White Sauce
1 stick butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed
1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over moderate heat. Remove pan from heat and stir in flour. Add warmed milk and heavy cream all at once, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return to heat and simmer, still stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is very thick. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Emily’s Crepes
Crepes
White sauce
Shredded Swiss cheese
Good quality ham, cut in strips
Melted butter
Take a crepe and place some white sauce in the middle. Smooth out sauce to the edges. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and put ham strips down the center. Fold the left side of the crepe over the right side, brush with melted butter and broil just until warm.
Chocolate Sauce Vanessa
1 stick salted butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
11/2 cups powdered sugar
Whip all ingredients in a mixer until fluffy. You may need more or less powdered sugar.
Serving suggestions:
n Serve sauce over fruit-filled crepes; decorate with strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
n Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle of a crepe, fold over and drizzle warm chocolate sauce on top. Decorate with fresh berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
n Place a ripe banana (not too ripe) banana on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until banana is black, about 30 minutes. Slice the banana down the center and put 1 tablespoon butter in the slit and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Or add brown sugar to the baked banana and turn this into a simple dessert.