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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am