1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped
2 cups mixed vegetable mirapoix, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, minced
3 pounds red new potatoes, boiled,peeled, and chopped
1 cup prepared whole button mushrooms, drained
8 ounces Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, softened and mashed
8 ounces sour cream
2 cans cream of shrimp soup
1 cup Half & Half as needed
1 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese
2 pounds lump crabmeat, picked through for shell bits
1 bunch thinly sliced green onions
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled potato chips
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced parsley

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure on rack is in the center of the oven.

While that's in progress, in a 12- or 14-inch non-stick skillet (or a 5-quart porcelain-lined Dutch oven), melt together the butter and the olive oil and bring the mixture up to medium-high heat.

Then, a handful at a time, begin dropping in the shrimp.

Stir or toss them and saute them only until they turn pink but do not let them render out their juices.

When they lose all their gray color, take a strainer spoon and remove them temporarily to a glass or Pyrex bowl.

Then add the next batch and cook them the same way until all the shrimp are done.

At this point, with the skillet or Dutch oven still on high heat, drop in the vegetable mirapoix and the chopped green pepper.

Then saute the mixture until the veggies are soft and thoroughly wilted.They do not have to brown very deeply.

Now add to the pan the potatoes and the mushrooms and toss them over and over until completely mixed uniformly.

Once this is done, begin folding in the Philly cheese, the sour cream, the shrimp soup, and the Half & Half (enough to keep the mixture semi-fluid).

When the blend is totally consistent, fold in the Cheddar cheese, the crabmeat, the shrimp, and the green onions.

Add your salt and white pepper at this stage if you think you need it.

Once again take your time and harmoniously work together all the ingredients until they are married.

When your potatoes have reached 'casserole' consistency, transfer them to a 4-inch deep baking pan, level them off, evenly sprinkle on the potato chips, and then liberally scatter on the Parmesan, enough of it to produce a thick, crunchy, top once the dish has baked.

All that's left is to slide the pan into the preheated oven and bake the casserole until the sides are hot and bubbly and the Parmesan has deeply browned and crusted thickly over the top.

Serve still hot with a cold, crisp, green salad.

Yeah, I know. . .it's a sacrifice and a Deep South, bayou-style form of penance.


Chef's Note:

If you'd prefer to make this casserole with crawfish tails instead of shrimp, go ahead.It's very adaptable.

One suggestion: Use only the highest quality ingredients in this recipe.Mediocre products will give you something much less than desired, I promise.

Usual baking time is 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon your oven.