Laissex les bon temps rouler!
It's the time of year when everything Cajun, carnival and creole fill our bellies. Mardi Gras celebrations are in full swing and it's no different in my kitchen, especially with this favorite soup and simple kid's dessert.
However, I do enjoy the Cajun flavors with seafood the best. It's the perfect pairing of spice and heat.
The rainy weather inspired this very cheesy and filling casserole. It's perfect as a side dish or a satisfying main meal served with a buttermilk drenched green salad.
Simplicity reigns supreme in this recipe, made in one large skillet and poured into a casserole dish for the oven.
Cheesy Cajun Shrimp and Rice Casserole
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup finely diced shallots
- 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
- 1 pound large shrimp, deviened and peeled (41/50)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
- 4 oz shredded Gruyere cheese
- 4 oz shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can (15.5 oz) chili beans, drained
- 4-1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice
- 1 jar (2 oz) pimentos, drained
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large, deep, nonstick skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Saute shallots and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning until softened, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until just pink, about another two minutes. Add flour and stir until fully incorporated. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, breaking up any little lumps. Bring to a slight boil and cook for one minute
- Slowly add all three cheeses, stirring and making sure they are fully incorporated. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, cayenne, chili beans, rice and pimentos. Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.
- Melt 3 Tablespoons butter and mix with Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 20 minutes.