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Creamy Seafood Casserole

Serve your company some rich, creamy goodness at your next dinner party. Today’s creamy seafood casserole dish is a comfort food classic with depths of wonderful flavors in every bite!

The ingredients that help make up this dish are delightful additions that give the casserole its texture and taste. As easy as it is to prepare, it’s even better to eat and enjoy! We’re happy to present you with this amazing seafood dish, courtesy of What’s Cooking America.net:

Creamy Seafood Casserole Creamy Seafood Casserole courtesy of WhatsCookingAmerica.com

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup thinly-sliced leeks
  • cup thinly-sliced fennel bulb (reserve some of the fennel fronds)
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • Seafood Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 pound raw medium-size shrimp, tail off and deveined
  • 12 ounces raw halibut, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 ounces raw sea scallops, tougher outer muscle removed and cut in half
  • 1 (9-ounce) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup crusty artesian bread, made into crumbs*
  • ½ cup freshly-grated Paramigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Penne or Penne Rigate pasta**
  • Thick slices of bread
  • Lemon wedges (garnish)

*Look for an interesting combination of flavors for the artesian bread. Feel free to use black pepper and garlic bread.

**Cook pasta according to package directions.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish.

In a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter. Add leeks, fennel, salt, and pepper; sauté approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 1 minute more. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

Prepare the Cheese Sauce.

Mix the leek/fennel mixture into the prepared cheese sauce until combined. Gently stir in the shrimp, halibut, sea scallops, and artichoke hearts. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, bread crumbs, and Parmesan Cheese. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

At this point, you may cover the casserole and refrigerate until ready to cook (up to 6 hours). When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking to allow casserole to come to room temperature.

Cook seafood casserole approximately 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Then turn your oven to broil and broil the top of the seafood casserole for approximately 1 minute until golden brown. Remove from oven.

While the seafood casserole is cooking, prepare your pasta.

Serve over egg noodles. Depending on your seafood, they may have lots of broth. Serve with a crusty slice of thick bread to sop up the juices. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Makes 6 servings.

Seafood Cheese Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup half and half cream
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarse or sea salt
  • ⅛ cup of a good-quality sherry wine
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

Instructions:

In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until the butter and flour are well combined. Cook the mixture for approximately 1 minute, whisking the entire time.

Add the bouillon cube, whisking until it dissolves. Slowly add the milk and half and half cream, continuing to whisk. Add the nutmeg, pepper, and salt; whisk until the sauce becomes creamy and thick.

Whisk in the sherry wine. Remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese, stirring well until combined.

With your casserole complete, serve it up with a spinach salad with Mandarin oranges, a crisp white wine, and you and your guests are guaranteed to fall in love with every bite!