Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Krysta's Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

My daughter, Krysta requested that we prepare this delicious casserole together and wanted me to blog it onto my new cooking website, I gladly agreed and we had lots of fun doing this cooking project together. Here is the line up: one, 8 ounce package of wild rice mix, we used Rice-A-Roni, one pound of medium shrimp, deveined and peeled, 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 1/2 sweet green pepper, seeded and chopped, 1/2 small onion, chopped, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, or any other type of cream soup of your choice, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste. This bakes at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, serves 6-8 servings.
This is my lovely daughter Krysta, who is a newlywed who is enjoying learning how to cook, she is a quick learner and very excited about this wonderful dish that she has prepared a couple of time, once for my dad's 80th birthday party where everyone really loved it. We were at her and Brian's apartment this evening and I did all the photography while she cooked.

Prepare one, 8 ounce package of wild rice, according to the instructions on the box, except decrease water by 1/4 cup, we used Rice-A-Roni brand wild rice mix, with the seasoning package, it was a little cheaper in cost and the finished product was every bit as good. Any way we can save you a few pennies we will, we are all in the same boat of high grocery prices sailing to the Gulf of I'm broke land.

Chop 1/2 green pepper into small pieces, at this time if you want onion, cut up about 1/2 small onion into small pieces also, getting them ready to saute. Look at my daughter's cute apron she got for Christmas from her sister, isn't it quite retro?

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to a gentle boil before adding shrimp. Then, stand over the steam of the pan, close your eyes and think of the Gulf of Mexico and imagine you feel the sand between your toes and the roar of the waves hitting the beach and the cute lifeguard.......... oh, sorry carry on.

Put the 1 pound of peeled and and deveined shrimp into the gently boiling water for about 1 minute, don't let them go longer or you will have very tough, flavorless shrimpys and people tend to complain about things like that.

After cooking the shrimp, take over to the sink and drain, or if you want to you could drain them into the toilet, of course that sounds gross and taking a hot pot top the bathroom sounds dangerous, so let's stay safety smart and drain into the sink. Allow to cool.

Melt 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter in a small skillet or saute pan, we actually used the same skillet we had cooked the shrimp in, why wash a pan if you don't have to? Put your 1/2 cup green pepper and 1/2 onion in to saute on medium to low heat for about 5 minutes. We didn't use onion, mainly because Krysta does not like onion, and we didn't have any.

Slightly spray with cooking spray or grease a 9x13 baking dish for the casserole we are working on like crazy women.

After you have cooked your wild rice mixture, per box directions, let it drain and cool before mixing it all together

Add one can of cream of mushroom soup, if you don't like mushrooms, there is no reason you couldn't use cream of chicken, cream of broccoli, cream of shrimp, wait do they make a cream of shrimp? Well, you get the idea, as long as it is the cream of anything it will probably work.

Add the sauteed green peppers to the bowl-o-goodness, for goodness sake!

Add 1 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese to the mixture, it's looking pretty good right now, but no wait it will get even better.

Mix all the ingredients together well, the soup, shrimp, rice, peppers, cheese. Again, Speedy Gonzales was mixing too fast for my new camera and the dummy behind it who didn't set the f-stop.

Add salt and pepper to taste, a few shakes of both will do, don't overdo on the salt as the shrimp was cooked in salt water and the soup has a high sodium content, mix well.

The mixed casserole is dumped into a greased 9x13 size baking dish and with a spoon or spatula, smooth it equally, then take the remaining 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top. Put this in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. My daughter was so fast at the cheese spreading her hand is a blur :)

I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to dig into this hot, cheesy and gloriously good casserole. It is easy, probably 20 minute prep time and 30 minute bake time, and wouldn't this be the envy of the lunch bunch when you reheat this tomorrow at noon. If you had an issue with shrimp, like my poor husband, you could easily replace the shrimp with chicken. Try my daughters' tasty dish, comment on it and make her a happy girl. Love to you all!!