Monday, October 19, 2009
What I am making for dinner tonight - Stuffed Shells
I know, exciting right?
I thought I would post so you could see how I improvise dinner more often than plan it :) I knew when I went to the store I wanted to make stuffed shells sometime in the two week period following my shopping trip so I bought two boxes of shells and some alfredo sauce... that was all.
Because I always have chicken breasts frozen in my freezer (or ground beef/turkey if you aren't into chicken quite like we are) and I figured I could just wing the rest.
I started by putting about four cups of water onto boil with one tablet of Knorr's Caldo de Pollo (otherwise known as chicken bouillon but from the Mexican Food section of our local Wal-mart....I know I should be using all natural chicken stock but I haven't quite gotten there).

Then I took the rest of the parsley I had in the fridge which was getting dried out and threw it in there. I took four cloves of garlic and minced those into the boiling water. I cut up about a half of a large yellow onion, chopped into very small pieces and chopped up three green onions and put those in as well. And then, just for giggles, I threw a sprig of thyme in because I happen to have thyme and I try to use things before they go bad. [I have no freaking clue what flavor thyme adds to my food, but I had to buy it for a recipe a week or so ago so I am putting it into everything...] I also added a few sprinkles of crushed red peppers. I let that all cook for about ten minutes and then, because I am a breaker of the rules, I dropped three frozen chicken breasts in.
While that was cooking, I started boiling the water for the shells.
Once the water for the shells is boiling I removed the chicken stuff from the heat and allowed it to begin cooling on a back burner.
It smelled freaking good.
I have a whole bunch of fresh spinach in my fridge because I buy fresh spinach every time I go to the store. I took the stems off, rinsed it and cut it up. Then I put it on top of the chicken mixture so it can cook a little AND get the flavor of the chicken and veggies.
When the shells were done, I drained them and set aside.
Then I strained the chicken mixture reserving the broth because (1) you will need some later and (2) you should save it for another recipe later in the week so you don't have to use preservative packed bouillon cubes. So I've heard.
Run the chicken mixture through the food processor adding a little of the broth to help it mix well. You don't want it soupy, just juicy.
Salt and pepper to taste. Now do you have some mozerella? This would be a good time to throw about a cup in. I don't have any so I am using the remaining parmesan I have to give it a little extra FLAVOR.
I use this stuff more than anything else in the world. (shhhh)
Last, I pour an entire jar of alfredo sauce into an 9/13 glass casserole dish and stuff the shells, setting them into the alfredo sauce.

I cover them and bake them at 350ish until they are hot, then sprinkle the tops with parmesan and serve. [no after picture because I actually wrapped these up and put them in the fridge so we could eat them the next day which was The Busiest Day of our week... and once they came out of the oven, well there was no way the girls were giving me a chance to take a few shots...]
My kids LOVE stuffed shells and I always make them with whatever I have available so they are always different. And if I can make stuff from scratch and without a recipe, so can you :)

Rough indredient list...
Chicken Bouillon
Minced garlic
Onion (1/2)
Green onions
Chicken Breasts
Jumbo Shells
Alfredo sauce
Parmesan or Mozerrella

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 10:14 AM
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