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I will be honest, I have never been a big fan of cooking casseroles. That was not how I learned to cook. Most of the meals my Mom prepared were cooked on the stove top, grill and on occasion, the crockpot. But there are those days when the right ingredients just fall into place and the site of that warm, bubbly casserole makes the perfect meal. This recipe was inspired by my love for Tex Mex foods and my sweet sister in law Janet Lynn, who prepares the best casserole dishes!
Yields 4 hearty serving for a meal or 6 starter servings
For Cheese Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
8 ounces Monterey jack, shredded
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1/2 cup poblano pepper, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
10 ounces cooked shrimp, chopped
4 ounces lump crab, flaked
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cheese sauce
Juice of 1 key lime
1/3 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro chopped, more for garnishing
1/4 cup green onions chopped, more for garnish
2 cup zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
You will also need:
12 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups your favorite guacamole
1 cup your favorite salsa
1. Melt the butter in saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and stir until there are no lumps. Season with salt and white pepper. Continue cooking at low/medium heat until sauce thickens. Add 2 cups jack cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, stir to melt, taste for salt. Cover and remove from heat. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic, serrano, poblano, and red bell pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp, crab, lime juice, 1/2 cup reserved cheese sauce, and sour cream. Stir well to combine, taste for salt and pepper. Remove from heat and fold in the cilantro and green onions.
3. Lightly spray an 8x8 casserole dish with oil. Start with a layer of cheese sauce (about 1 cup), add 4 corn tortillas to cover the surface. Add just enough cheese sauce to cover surface of tortillas. Add all the sliced zucchini and season with lemon pepper seasoning. Add half of the seafood mixture from pan.
4. Repeat the layering (minus the zucchini) until you end up with sauce as the top layer. Top with remaining jack cheese. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, then broil for just a minute to brown the cheese slightly. Let the casserole cool for a good 20 to 25 minutes before you cut into it. Yields 4 hearty servings for a meal or 6 starter servings. Garnish with guacamole, salsa, green onions, and cilantro.
Other recipes by Sonia:
Beef, Black Bean & Rice Albóndiga Soup
Tilapia In a Green Chile Sauce With Coconut Lime Rice
Chile Relleno with Serrano Shrimp
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Steak Ranchero and Potato Tacos
Annatto-Citrus Marinated Chicken
Kickin' Sloppy Joe & Cheddar Pie
Chile Garlic Shrimp Kabobs
Chicken Enchilada Soup with Chayotes
Chocoflan / Pastel Imposible
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