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Cajun Seafood Casserole

Combining rice, mushrooms, shrimp and crabmeat, this casserole is a perfect dinner option during Lent. The recipe comes from Cajun Country Rice, a product grown, milled, packaged and sold in South Louisiana. The mill itself is located in Crowley, an area that has, for centuries, been the heart of Louisiana rice and culinary history. Falcon Rice Mill, which produces the rice, has a 70-year history and is one of the last remaining family-owned rice mills in the area.

2 cups cooked Cajun Country Medium Grain Rice (or any medium-grain variety)
5 Tbsp butter, divided in half
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 pound peeled and deveined Louisiana shrimp
1 pound fresh Louisiana crabmeat
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs

In a small saucepan, melt cream cheese and half of butter together on low heat. In a separate saucepan, add remaining butter, onion, bell pepper, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are tender. Add shrimp, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. Saute until shrimp are pink. Add rice and cream cheese mixture. Mix well. Gently spoon in crabmeat. Pour into 2-3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

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