Friday, March 2, 2012

Lent Food At It's Finest

Growing up in a Catholic household, I remember eating the same, boring foods every Friday during Lent: cheese pizza, fish sticks or macaroni and cheese (granted, my brother and I were the pickiest eaters ever so our poor mother didn't have a whole lot to work with..but that's not the point!). Since I am an adult living on my own now (and am no longer a terrible eater...), I like to find meatless recipes with a little more pizzazz. This tops them all.

This. Recipe. Is. Money.

While I am typically not a huge Paula Deen fan (love her as a person, dislike her as a chef--I'm not a deep fried crab leg kinda gal), she nailed it with this recipe. But, of course, I did have to make a couple modifications (as you continue to follow this blog, you will quickly learn that I despise onions and will find any alternative to that weird, crunchy, potent vegetable). So, without further ado, I present to you Paula Deen's Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole (Ala Annie).

  • 1 (8 ounce) package wild rice
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined  
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped  
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
    **Annie Modification** Substitute the butter, green pepper and onion with 1 can of Rotel (choose your spice level, I recommend Hot).
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce can) condensed cream of mushroom soup 
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar  
  1.  Cook the rice according to package directions minus 1/4 cup water. Drain and cool. 
  2. Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 tablespoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan and cook the shrimp for 1 minute. Drain immediately and set aside.  
  3. Heat the butter in saucepan and saute the pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes (FORGO THIS STEP IF USING THE ROTEL!!).
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine the rice, soup, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, shrimp and vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix well. Spray a 9-inch square aluminum cake pan or an 11 by 7-inch glass casserole dish with vegetable spray. Place the mixture in the pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.  

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