Canelones de Carnes
My mother in law is the master of comfort food. She spent her teenage years living in Uruguay where her parents were missionaries. She told me all about the fantastic cooks she knew there, but one of the dishes that stood out to her was canelones. It is now one of the special meals that she prepares for her family on Sundays or for birthdays. The dish is traditionally European (you will also see the Italian spelling “cannelloni”). Typically a large, hollow pasta tube is filled with various meats, vegetables, and cheeses, but her version uses homemade crepes filled with beef, spinach, and cheddar. The first time I had this dish at her house, I fell in love, and I knew I had to hang out in the kitchen the next time and learn how to make it. If you are afraid of making the homemade crepes or need to save a little time, you could buy the pasta instead. But I highly recommend learning how to make crepes – they are SO delicious! The best part is that you can make a big batch and have the leftover crepes for breakfast the next day or stick them in the freezer for later.
Canelones de Carnes
Kim @ Onceamonthmom.com
- 1 pound ground beef
- 0.5 cup diced onions
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 0.25 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 0.5 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 homemade crepes
In a large skillet, saute ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft. Add garlic and baby spinach and continue cooking 3-5 minutes until spinach is wilted. Set aside. In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 2-3 minutes until bubbly and smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and cook 5-7 minutes until thickened and smooth. Stir frequently and do not allow to boil. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in cheeses a little at a time until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of cheese sauce to ground beef mixture and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a scoop of filling in the center of each crepe (dividing filling evenly among them). Roll crepe closed and place seam side down in baking pans (one 13 x 9 or two 8 x 8s). Repeat until you have used all of your crepes and filling. Pour remaining cheese sauce over canelones. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until heated through and cheese sauce is bubbly.
Cool prepared canelones, but do not bake. Cover with foil, label, and freeze. To serve: Thaw canelones. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until heated through and cheese sauce is bubbly.
**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann