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, reserving 1 Tablespoon (Tbsp) for garnish
- 3 cups seasoned stuffing mix (or bread crumbs seasoned with Italian Seasoning)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Cooked rice or noodles (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the stuffing (or breadcrumbs) and cheese. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the stuffing mix (or bread crumbs) and cheese. Once the ingredients are mixed, spoon them into a 9x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the casserole with the stuffing (or bread crumbs) and cheese mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with remaining scallions. Enjoy!