Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

This is very yummy. This is so yummy that I would make like 5 batches of it and freeze it if I had a deep freezer (and someday I shall...) and then bring it out when there are guests. According to the recipe notes, this freezes very well. I like that. I like things that can be made ahead.

But I didn't make it ahead, I made it right before we ate. And it didn't take very long, and it cooked perfectly, and it was very tasty. I used frozen peppers, frozen okra, already-peeled shrimp (so I didn't have to buy as much! I bought 1 lb and it was enough), and extra cayenne. I also used cream of mushroom soup instead of the cream of shrimp soup. This was a good decision. I lightened it by using less butter than is called for, and reduced-fat reduced-sodium soup.

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Definitely a make-again.

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Cajun Shrimp Casserole
Southern Living, October 2005

This longer ingredient list is worth the effort for a special occasion meal. If you're not a fan of okra, you can leave it out of this dish.

2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1/4 cup butter
1 small red onion, chopped*
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper*
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper*
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper*
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of shrimp soup**
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups cooked long-grain rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnishes: quartered lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

Peel shrimp; devein, if desired.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in okra, lemon juice, and salt; sauté 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in soup and next 4 ingredients until blended. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

*1 (10-ounce) package frozen onions and peppers may be substituted for fresh onion and bell peppers.

**1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup may be substituted for cream of shrimp soup.

Note: Unbaked casserole may be made one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed. To freeze unbaked casserole, prepare as directed, omitting Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly, and freeze. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking. Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

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