Dee Miskill’s shrimp and artichoke casserole explodes with flavor. (Kathy D’Agostino photo)
I wanted to approach March with an open mind. Daylight saving time starts on March 12. The spring equinox is March 20. Opening day for the Red Sox is March 30. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to turn the page on winter and think spring. The groundhog did see his shadow, right? Even if he didn’t, just six more weeks of winter after Feb. 2 would still make for what Mainers consider an early spring. As I write this, it is freezing outside and the wind is howling. Lobster boats remain grounded in the neighborhood. There is a layer of ice everywhere I look. Sigh.
I needed a recipe that would lift spirits. One that explodes with flavor. I found it. The combination of ingredients makes this absolutely delicious and will make anyone forget about how cold March can get here in New England. Believe me, once you make this dish, you will want to prepare it again and again. Besides, what a perfect way to celebrate National Artichoke Hearts Day!
This fabulous casserole recipe was given to me by Diana “Dee” Miskill. She has a passion for cooking and shares the fruits of her labor with Harpswell Aging at Home’s Meals in a Pinch program, as well as Tedford Housing.
While serving in the Navy, Dee traveled throughout the U.S. and abroad. She originally hails from New York and has lived in Harpswell for the past 40 years. She has four children who live across the U.S. and in Wales, U.K., along with one grandchild. According to her, life doesn’t get any better. Thank you, Dee, for this wonderful recipe and for your service.
SHRIMP AND ARTICHOKE CASSEROLE
2 14-ounce cans of artichoke hearts, quartered and drained (can use marinated ones if desired for extra flavor)
1 pound medium shrimp (use raw shrimp, cleaned and shelled)
6 tablespoons butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (optional)
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry white wine
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Seafood seasoning blend
(Dee used a seasoning blend from Blue Crab Bay Co. that she gets online. To make your own using dried herbs, combine a teaspoon each of dill, tarragon, chives and oregano, plus 1/4 teaspoon each of thyme and rosemary. For a little zip, you could add the zest of one lemon to the herbs. If you reach for the Old Bay, do so with a light touch, as it is strong and can overwhelm the dish.)
Arrange artichoke hearts in a buttered 2-quart baking dish. Cover with the shrimp. Sprinkle some of the herb mixture on top.
In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter (or you can use olive oil). Saute the mushrooms (and asparagus, if using) for about 3 minutes and spread over the shrimp.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Add the flour and mix well. Whisk in the milk and wine. Sprinkle some more of the seafood seasoning if you’d like. Cook until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce evenly over the mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan and paprika. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes.
Cooking at 43° North, a program of Harpswell Aging at Home, brings Harpswell residents together for cooking programs, in person and online. Watch the Anchor calendar for listings.
HAH always needs cooks for its Meals in a Pinch program, which provides nutritious meals to seniors in need of emergency assistance. For more information, contact Julie Moulton at 207-330-5416 or email@example.com.