Casseroles, they're the perfect meal for those busy nights, they're elegant enough for a crowd, they can be made ahead, and they're the perfect vehicle to hide certain ingredients, like shrimp (That's the part I like the best).
I had just prepared a batch of Homemade Mushroom Soup and was in the mood for seafood, especially shrimp, but I had to be clever.
With the exception of our middle child (15), our entire gang loves shrimp. I too was picky as a child, and had "to clean my plate" even if I didn't like something. so I understand pickiness (our dog was well-fed...sorry mom).
Boy have things changed for me, thank goodness! My hubby and I are major foodies, and because we like to try lots of different cuisines, our kiddos are used to my culinary creations and usually like everything I prepare for them, including shrimp. (However, they don't have to "clean their plate", they just have to "try one bite").
So, here's the clever part, I knew my son would enjoy this recipe, but he'd be leary about the shrimp, so I hid the shrimp in the casserole, but not like the picture posted, I actually hid it.
I made two 8x8 casseroles. For the rest of the gang I made the casserole exactly like pictured above, with the chunks of succulent shrimp. For the second casserole, I pulverized half of the shrimp and cream of mushroom soup in my food processor, then added to the crab and rest of the ingredients. Done! I know, sneaky, right? He never knew what hit him.
It worked! Our son thoroughly enjoyed this delicious creamy casserole, including the shrimp, and even helped himself to seconds. Feeling guilty I had tricked my son, I fessed up after dinner. He said he had a feeling I did something sneaky, especially when his siblings were raving about the chunks of shrimp, shrimp that he couldn't find;)
Have anything your children won't eat? Try hiding it in a casserole, but you may not want to fess up at the end, until maybe much later in life;) Ha!
- 20 oz. Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup (you could use small cans of Cream of Mush. soup...but why? Homemade is so much better)
- 1 cup lite mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Sherry
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) Cherchies® Garlic Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) Cherchies® Champagne Mustard
- 1 1/2 lbs. seafood (2 cans of lump crab meat and 1 lb. shrimp)
- 1 5 oz. cans of water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup minced green onions
- 3 cups seasoned stuffing mix
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cooked rice or noodles (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and cheese. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the stuffing mix and cheese. Once the ingredients are mixed, spoon them into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the casserole with the stuffing and cheese mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!