This delicious seafood casserole recipe and photos were shared with me by Karen Calanchini, Food Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA. Karen likes to serve
this dish with
Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges.
Karen says, "This
makes a wonderful casserole for company with its rich, creamy goodness in every bite! The additions of fennel,
leek, garlic, and fresh herbs add a delightful depth of flavors to the dish."
Creamy Seafood Casserole Recipe
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup thinly-sliced leeks
1/2 cup thinly-sliced fennel bulb (reserve some of the fennel fronds)
1/4 teaspoon coarse or sea
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black
garlic cloves, diced
Seafood Cheese Sauce (see 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, tough outer muscle removed and cut in half
1 (9-ounce) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 cup chopped
1/2 cup crusty artesian bread, made into crumbs*
1/2 cup freshly-grated Paramigiano Reggiano cheese
Penne or Penne Rigate
Thick slices of bread
Lemon wedges (garnish)
* Look for an interesting combination of flavors for the artesian bread. I used a black pepper and garlic
bread. Learn how to
Make Homemade Bread Crumbs.
** Cook pasta according to package directions.
Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly.
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
sauté or 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.
fennel, salt, and pepper.
up shrimp, scallops, and halibut.
Prepare the Cheese
Sauce. Mix in the leek/fennel mixture 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
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
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
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
1/8 cup of a good-quality sherry
1 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
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.