Mom’s Casserole Comfort

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By Lynn Rahn

When my daughter, Brooke, was little it made me happy when she asked me to make shrimp and wild rice. I don’t know if it was the cheese or the shrimp, but Brooke took comfort in this dish in a big way. At a time when growing up is so confusing and unsettling, I was more than happy to provide her with some comfort any way I could.

It was during this time that Brooke designed this apron. I still wear it—halfway believing that doing so would keep my baby from ever growing up. But in spite of my efforts, she did, in fact, grow up.

When our children are small, we are their heroes. They depend on us for everything. Then we look away for what seems like a second and everything turns on its head. I even started to believe that my twenty-year-old Brooke didn’t need her Mom anymore, but then she asked me to make her shrimp and wild rice casserole.

I know she wasn’t just asking for her favorite dish. She was again asking for comfort—the kind that only a mother can give. Today, this special young woman invites me to sit down and share a meal with her, as her Mom and now her friend too.

Someday down the line someone else will serve Brooke her favorite casserole. I take pleasure in the fact that she’ll take a bite and say, “It’s good, but it’s nothing like my Mom’s”—just another way of saying, “I love you, Mom.”

Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

2 lbs. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 box of cooked wild rice, cooked

In a large skillet, saute olive oil, butter, garlic, bell pepper and onion until onion is translucent.  Add shrimp. When shrimp are done (pink), add cream of mushroom soup and 2/3 of the grated cheese until cheese is melted. Add cooked rice and pour entire mixture into 9x13 greased casserole. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy

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Reader Comments:

This Shrimp casserole sounds very good, but I am having touble finding the box of wild rice. How many ounces of rice is in the box. Am looking forward to your reply. Thanks

By gail hebert on August 29, 2010

Reading this about the shrimp rice casserole brought to mind what my son has said so many times about my pound cake. When he was small if we went to a family gathering he would ask if I made the pound cake and if not he would not eat a slice and when asked why he would respond it is not yours and no ones taste as good as yours. He is grown now and he still ask if I cooked the pound cake when we have a family gathering.

By Tinker Spell on July 02, 2010

I’ve had a belly full of Lynn’s fabulous shrimp and rice casserole too!  I can say that it is lip smackin’ good! Ya gotta try it!

By Molly Baker on May 06, 2010

Mom, this story is very touching. I’ve read it several times and it brings tears to my eyes each time. Comfort, in the right form, is hard to find, but when it is cheese, shrimp and you, it is just right. Thank you for your support and unconditional love thus far…as i know it will only increase as the years go on. And thank you for sharing our journey. Dinner, my house Thursday? smile

By Hoddie on May 03, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm