Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ham and Cheese Cannelloni

Alright, we are back in the kitchen! I saw this recipe in a magazine, but is was an ad by the alfredo company (Bertolli Light Alfredo Sauce, I think) and decided to try it. Recipes from the company trying to sell you the product always make me nervous, I don't think they have great chefs writing their recipes. Anyhow it was simple enough and something different so I tried it. Now Hef's dad asked me, what is cannelloni? (And he is italian, so I was surprised) I summed it up this way, it is like Manicotti but it has ham in it. That got an "ok" and so we were ready to go. It's actually very simple and sounds and looks more impressive then it is. If you plan to try this at home you will need:
1 cup Ricotta *Whole milk/Part Skim, whatever ya want
1 cup Shredded Mozzarella (or a little more who cares, cheesey is good!)
1 large egg
1 jar alfredo sauce
8 slices deli ham (I used Oscar Meyers Carvers because I had a coupon and it sucked as I will get into a little further down)
8 egg roll wrappers (I usually find them in the Tofu section of the produce store because they are refridgerated, if your a dough/pasta making person, go nuts make your own)
1/2 cup Grated Parmagiano-Reggiano (I have a budget mind I used the grated parmesan in a jar so there!)
Also I added a good amount of McCormick Grinders Italian Seasoning and I think that helped boost the flavor, just ricotta and mozzarella and egg seemed bland to me.
Alright, ingredients at the ready! First pour enough Alredo sauce (approx 3/4 cup, I didn't measure I eyeballed it.) in a 9x13 baking dish. My trick is to pour some in the center then lift and tilt the pan so the sauce spreads around.Then mix the ricotta,mozzarella, egg and italian seasoning in a bowl. Lay out the first egg roll wrapper and spread the ricotta mix on it. (Officially the recipe says 3 tablespoons but I didn't measure I just covered them nicely and it came out good).
 Now this was the fly in my ointment. As I mentioned I bought Oscar Meyers Carvers. Obviously this ham isn't a nice slice. There was one decent sized slice in the whole package, the rest was bits and scraps. Not impressed. So let me emphasize you need nice thin ham slices that will roll up easily and not chuncks that will tear your sensitive egg roll wrappers. Also let me emphasize that these Oscar Meyers Carvers are a waste of money because I can just imagine putting them on a sandwich trying to take the first bite and all thse little bits fall out onto the plate. Anyhow, take your nice thin sliced ham and spread it over the ricotta.
 I also made one with pepperoni because I ran out of crappy ham! I am really pleased with learning this new recipe. It will be incredibly easy to change it up, ham and cheese, pepperoni, just cheese for our vegan friends, maybe leftover stuffed pepper filling with the cheese, it's very adaptable.
 So please preheat your oven to 400 when you are about halfway thru making your cannelloni. I always change recipes preheat your oven time because my oven always ends up sitting on for ten minutes until the food is ready. As it happens I didn't cook these the same night(Mondau) as I rolled them(Saturday). Hef's dad had leftover steak and wanted that instead. I have nice Pyrex cookware that comes with snap on lids so I refridgerated them until Monday. (Sunday night we went out for lobsters, btw, yum!). I think this made the bottoms a little soggy, sitting in the sauce until then. So if you want to make in advance, I wouldn't put the sauce in the bottom, I would keep them in one dish and transfer to the sauced pan before cooking. Of course I also think it could be done a few hours in advance then thrown in the oven for company when you want it.
Ok, so before putting into the oven, top with the rest of the sauce, some parmesan/parmigiano and some italian seasoning if you are using it.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400F, pull out when it looks like this! Dig in!
P.S. If anyone wants a nice typed version without all my comments let me know. I am using a new program called Living Cookbook to store my recipes on the computer, instead of annoying Hef's Dad with a lot of magazine pages around the house, and after I type the recipe in it makes it a nice document and I'm happy to share it.
Bon Appetit!


The Fab Furs said...

Sounds like a good winter dish and relatively easy to prepare--though my roll-ups are never eye candy. Interesting that you used egg roll wrappers; I have a hard time finding the pasta shells so maybe I'll just use what's readily available. What's with the deli meat people? They slice everything pre-made so razor-thin it's unusable and yet to go to the in-store deli and get it sliced to order is more time consuming and usually more expensive too! Thanks for the post!

Jade said...

Looks yummy!

Hubby recommends Hillshire Farms Ultra Thin ham for thin slices that don't fall apart. It's his favorite sandwich meat.

Michelle May said...

Sounds good girlfriend. I'd love the recipe. Of course I'll leave the critter out, but the rest is perfect for bookclub girls night!
xx, shell

Rabbits' Guy said...

Holy Smoke - just Fed-Ex the dish (full!)

BL - HEY BL! You see this???

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

Looks yummy! And I am a big fan of EASY. So, I'll have to try this one! Thanks for sharing.

B L said...

Yes, RG, I see it! Yum! Hef's Mom is back! So clever you are to use egg role wrappers!

I'm going to try it and would love a copy of the recipe as well, comments and all :)

We are having company next week and this looks like a lovely company dish.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Company? I have to share? Ratso ...