2011, Recipes 110-112: Casseroles and Such: Cabbage Casserole, Stuffed Shells and Stuffed Mexican Peppers

 Cabbage Casserole
*Combination of several recipes
  • 1 small head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes
Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water until crisp-tender. DO NOT OVERCOOK. It will continue to cook in the oven and you want your cabbage to be a little firm. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add ground beef and spices and brown. Drain. Drain cabbage and place half in a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. Top with half of the ground beef, add half of the tomatoes. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the cabbage is tender. 

Results: Quite yummy! Rashan is alternately scared of cabbage because of bad experiences as a kid but he liked this, too.

Stuffed Shells
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
  • 1 (16 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
  • 4 cups large curd cottage cheese
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook shells according to package directions. Place in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.
  2. Blend cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, mushrooms and garlic powder in a food processer. Rub the dried herbs in the palms of your hands to pulverize them, and stir into the cheese mixture. Stuff mixture into the shells using a ziploc bag with a corner snipped off.
  3. Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 15 x 10 inch pan. Place shells open side up, and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 
Results: I made this recipe because Rashan requested it and hated every minute. I found it overly time consuming for the result. Some of my shells broke so I ended up just mixing it all together like a casserole. I think this also needed another flavor. Maybe spinach or meat. 

Stuffed Mexican Shells
Recipe courtesy of Jasgirl at Allrecipes.com with a few modifications
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, divided
  •  4 large poblano peppers
  •  2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Brown ground beef over medium heat with spices, breaking it apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 8 minutes. Drain excess fat. Stir in the cooked rice and 1/2 of the tomatoes; mix until thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Mix in half of the cheese.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the poblanos in half lengthwise. Remove stems, membranes, cores, and seeds. Place a steamer insert into a large saucepan, and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Place the peppers into the steamer insert, cover the pan, and steam until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Place the steamed peppers into the prepared baking dish, and fill lightly with the meat filling. Spoon the remaining tomatoes over the peppers and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender and the filling is hot, 25 to 30 minutes. 
Result: Delicious! I might make a casserole-type version of this one again tonight!