I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, a way to this woman’s heart is through my stomach. I’ve always been impressed by a man who can cook (and enjoys it). In fact, I find men who like to cook sexy. It means I won’t always be responsible for making dinner.
My husband and I had an unusual courtship, with most of it being long-distance. By the time we had our first “official” date, I knew I loved him. We met at Forest Park in St. Louis and had a picnic lunch under some large, beautiful trees. It was a hot day, after all, it was July, but I didn’t really notice the heat. Chris packed the lunch for us: sandwiches, fresh strawberries, and his BLT macaroni salad. Yum! I only fell in love with him more.
A couple of months later, in October, Chris flew down to spend the weekend with me. He told me he wanted to cook for me, and I let him. He made his Mexican Stuffed Shells. I watched as he cooked, loving every minute. After all, a man cooking is very sexy. When I tasted them, they became one of my favorite dishes to eat. The next day, Chris proposed. Of course I said yes. I would not only get him, but his wonderful Mexican Stuffed Shells.
This dish takes a little more effort than what I normally post, but they are well worth it. Chris let me follow him as he cooked them, recently, so I could take pictures. (I refuse to make them. They are HIS dish.)
To get started, you will want to boil some water to cook 24 jumbo-size pasta shells. When you cook the shells, drain them right before they get to al dente. There are two reasons for this: (1) you will cook them again later and don’t want them to get mushy, and (2) you will want them to be firm so you can easily stuff them.
As the water comes to a boil, brown 1 pound of ground beef. Then, pour just enough picante sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish to cover the bottom.
Once the beef browns, add 1/2 a jar of picante sauce (what remains after pouring some on the casserole dish), 1/2 cup water, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/2 small can of French onions to it. Mix together and simmer on low until the cheese melts.
Now, using a spoon (my husband uses a soup spoon), stuff each shell and place in the casserole dish.
Pour the remaining picante sauce over the shells. Top the shells with the rest of the French onions and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake the stuffed shells in a preheated 350° oven. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- 24 Jumbo-size pasta shells
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 12 oz. jar of picante sauce
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 can French onions
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Boil water. Cook pasta shells until just before they reach al dente. Drain. Set aside.
- Pour just enough picante sauce on to 9x13 casserole dish to cover the bottom.
- Brown the beef.
- Add half of the remaining picante sauce, water, tomato sauce, 1/2 the cheese, and 1/2 the French onions to the beef.
- Mix together and allow to simmer until the cheese has melted.
- Stuff the shells using a spoon and place in the casserole dish.
- Pour the remaining picante sauce over the shells.
- Top the shells with the rest of the cheese and French onions.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.