Here is one of those all-time best recipes to save when you plan to entertain and want something very different to serve to guests. This is one of my favorite recipes, which I happened to see again in the August issue of Southern Living magazine. They suggested using for a hot appetizer, but I have served my version of the recipe for a main dish. It pairs nicely with noodles, pasta or mashed potatoes. It could also be served with puff pastry shells if desired. If used as an appetizer, it would be important to purchase smaller shrimp or cut large shrimp into smaller sections for use on baguette slices.
Making the shrimp thermidor:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1/4 cup margarine in a skillet on the stove top. Slice one large box or two smaller boxes of cleaned fresh mushrooms and add to pan. Saute to brown. Add 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, along with 1 teaspoon kosher salt , 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, and ground black pepper to taste. Add 2 cups of fat-free half and half, and cook the mixture while stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. This may take more than five minutes.
Next, add the cleaned shrimp in the preferred size for your meal, along with 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, and then transfer to a ceramic baking dish. Continue to season the shrimp with any desired herbs, such as thyme, basil or dill.
Bake for 15 minutes allowing for the mixture to boil. I served this shrimp thermidor with a small amount of mashed potatoes, and sautéed green beans and onions. If serving for an appetizer, add to a chafing dish to keep warm, making certain that the shrimp are bite-sized.