Last Father’s Day I received a gift certificate to go shopping at a cooking store (Sur La Table). I was a kid in a candy store. While there was nothing that I absolutely needed, there was plenty that I wanted. My challenge was getting the most of my money to spend. One of the first things I picked up, and carried throughout the store for the longest time, was a good crepe pan.
I had never had much success with crepes. To tell the truth, I had only tried them a few times, but they always tore into shreds and just didn’t work well. Part of it may have been my skills as a chef, but I was sure that some of it had to be my equipment (using a small frying pan).
Shortly after the purchase I made some Crepe Suzette. The crepe part turned out ok (although a little thick), but the alcohol never ignited and just tasted a little off. That is why you never saw it on the blog. The pan went back into the drawer and wasn’t used for a while. It kept bugging me to pull it out and use it again, but I just never found a good recipe.
I was cruising some recipes on the Taste of Home website and found a “makeover” manicotti recipe that was made with crepes in place of the pasta shells. I knew I had to try it.
This was good, but it took a while to make. Be sure you have a few hours to dedicate to it.
I’m not sure that this saves much in the way of calories or fat as there is plenty of it here. This is the first time I had made manicotti without ricotta!
The tomatoes simmering away. The recipe calls for a can of whole tomatoes and then to puree them. I took the shortcut and bought pureed tomatoes.
The original recipe does not indicate if the sausage is cooked or uncooked. I put turkey sausage on my grocery list and ended up buying the already cooked kind. The instructions do call for cooking it, so I think they wanted uncooked (I updated the recipe below), but the already cooked one added a pretty interesting texture. It works either way, I’m sure.
I like to get the meat crumbles small by using a potato masher near the end of frying it up.
If you lay them out on a wire rack, they will cool very quickly.
Almost like a burrito but the filling can go all the way to the ends.
This made enough to fill a 13×9 and 9×9. I put a little red sauce in the bottom of each to help the crepes from sticking. In the future I think I’d put a bit of non-stick spray first then the sauce then the crepes.
Getting ready for the oven.
Yum. It was a lighter lasting version and had good flavor.
Makeover Manicotti Crepes
Prep Time: 90 min | Cook Time: 35 min | Makes: 10
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, undrained
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 1-3/4 cups fat-free milk
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 1 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1/2 pound uncooked Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
For sauce, place tomatoes in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan; add the water, tomato sauce, sugar, oregano and celery salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or until reduced to 4-1/2 cups, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, for crepes, beat the eggs, egg substitute, milk and oil in a large bowl. Combine flour and salt; add egg mixture and stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For filling, in a large bowl, soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Stir in the egg substitute, green pepper, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Crumble beef and sausage over mixture and mix well. Stir in mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate until assembling.
Coat an 8-in. nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat. Stir crepe batter; pour 3 tablespoons into center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, coating skillet with cooking spray as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.
Spread about 1/4 cup filling down the center of each crepe; roll up and place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish and an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160° Yield: 10 servings.
Nutritional Facts 2 filled crepes equals 319 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 91 mg cholesterol, 977 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 26 g protein.