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Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa Wins Grand Prize at the 16th Annual Martha White®/Lodge® Cast Iron National Cornbread Cook-Off

Martha White®South Pittsburg, TN – Melanie M., of Knoxville, TN, was presented the cast iron skillet crown as the grand prize winner of the 2012 Martha White®/Lodge® Cast Iron National Cornbread Cook-Off for her original main dish recipe, Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa.

The National Cornbread Cook-Off is held in conjunction with the National Cornbread Festival® in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa
Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa

Cornbread lovers and festival goers gathered to watch as 10 finalists recreated their original main dish cornbread recipes made with Martha White Cornbread Mix in Lodge® Cast Iron cookware live on stage. A panel of experts, including food writers and television personalities, took on the difficult task of tasting the dishes and selecting three prize winners.

“Over the last 16 years, we have received a countless number of recipes that prove the relationship between hot cast iron and delicious cornbread continues to inspire cooks nationwide,” said Linda Carman, Martha White baking expert. “It was an honor to watch these finalists prepare their take on the Southern classic celebrated at this festival.”

Melanie created Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa using baked and crumbled Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread instead of the typical bread crumbs to form the shrimp cakes. Onions, celery, cilantro and seafood seasoning are combined with the crumbled cornbread and chopped shrimp to create this flavorful dish – served with a sweet and savory fresh mango salsa as the perfect complement.

Her original main dish recipe earned the top prize of $5,000 cash, a 30-inch stainless steel gas range (a $3,250 value) from FiveStar® Professional Cooking Equipment, a division of Brown Stove Works, Inc., and special gifts from Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron.

The second place winner, Lisa K. of Middlebury, CT, took home a $1,500 cash prize plus special gifts from Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron. Lisa’s Sweet Yellow Cornbread, Sausage & Tomato Pie with Garlic Cream Drizzle features layers of caramelized cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, Italian sausage and parmesan-flavored cornbread batter made with Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix. The delicious baked cornbread is sweet and soft, and the tomatoes form a beautiful topping when inverted onto the serving platter.

Jeanette N. of Crab Orchard, W.Va., created the Marvelous Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Cornbread Dinner. This dish uses Martha White Yellow Cornbread Mix flavored with pesto and Romano cheese as the bottom layer for this delectable cornbread dinner. Topped with chicken sausage, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, chopped tomatoes and feta cheese, it’s a symphony of Mediterranean flavors. She was awarded the third place prize of $1,000 along with special gifts from Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron for her winning recipe.

The following Finalists each took home $150.00 cash and special gifts from Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron:

  • Cristy K. of Scott Depot, WV.
  • Dee G. of Acworth, GA.
  • Janice E. of Charlotte, NC.
  • Rene P. of Wilmington, NC.
  • Richard S. of Waterford, CT.
  • Ronna F. of Rockville, MD.
  • Tim G. of Oliver Springs, TN.

The 17th annual National Cornbread Cook-Off will be held April 27th, 2013, in conjunction with the National Cornbread Festival® in South Pittsburg, Tenn. Official Rules and entry requirements for the 2013 National Cornbread Cook-Off will be available after the first of the year at www.marthawhite.com.

A leading manufacturer of Southern baking mixes and ingredients, Martha White was founded in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1899.

Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa

Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa
Sweet Cornbread Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa

First Prize Winner
Melanie M. – Knoxville, TN.

Cornbread
1 (7 oz.) package Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Mango Salsa
3 cups peeled and chopped mango (about 2 to 3)
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
Juice of 1 large lime
Pinch salt
1 jalapeño or Serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Shrimp Cakes
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined and coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons seafood seasoning
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Butter for cooking shrimp cakes
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish

Directions

1. BAKE cornbread mix according to package directions, using milk and 1 egg. Cool and crumble.

2. STIR together salsa ingredients. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Serve or refrigerate until serving time.

3. HEAT 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in 12-inch Lodge® cast iron skillet. Cook celery and 1/2 cup chopped red onion until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer celery and onion to large bowl. Stir in shrimp, seafood seasoning, 2 eggs, mayonnaise, 1/3 cup cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir in crumbled cornbread until well blended. Using about 1/3 cup, form mixture into 12 shrimp cakes about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Place on a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet.

4. HEAT 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp cakes until lightly browned and shrimp turn pink, about 4 minutes on each side. Cook remaining shrimp cakes, adding additional butter as needed. Place cakes on a serving platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. Serve with mango salsa.

Makes 6 servings

Tip: Fresh peaches or pineapple may be substituted for mango in the salsa.

Sweet Yellow Cornbread, Sausage & Tomato Pie with a Garlic Cream

Sweet Yellow Cornbread, Sausage & Tomato Pie with a Garlic Cream Drizzle
Sweet Yellow Cornbread, Sausage & Tomato Pie with a Garlic Cream Drizzle

Second Prize Winner
Lisa K. – Middlebury, CT.

Cornbread
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
6 tablespoons Crisco® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 pint (2 cups) grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, divided
2 (7 oz.) packages Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Garlic Cream Drizzle
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon Martha White Self-Rising or Plain Enriched Corn Meal
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Fresh basil, cut into thin strips and shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions

1. HEAT oven 375°F. Brown sausage over medium heat in 10-inch Lodge® cast iron skillet, breaking up meat with wooden spoon. Drain on paper towels. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan along with tomatoes, onions, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes and onions begin to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Spread tomato mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Spoon sausage evenly over top.

2. STIR together cornbread mix, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, milk, sour cream, eggs and 4 tablespoons olive oil until smooth. Pour over hot mixture in skillet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. (If any tomatoes or onions stick to bottom of pan, simply replace on cornbread.)

3. STIR together 1/4 cup heavy cream, corn meal, garlic and basil leaves in 1 cup microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Heat on HIGH in microwave for 45 to 60 seconds or until mixture boils. Discard garlic and basil. Whisk sour cream, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add to cream mixture. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons cream if needed to make it a drizzle consistency. Sprinkle cornbread with shaved Parmesan cheese and strips of basil. Serve with Garlic Cream Drizzle.

Makes 8 servings

Marvelous Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Cornbread Dinner

Marvelous Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Cornbread Dinner
Marvelous Mediterranean Chicken Sausage Cornbread Dinner

Third Prize Winner
Jeanette N. – Crab Orchard, W.Va.

Filling
2 teaspoons Crisco® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12 oz.) package fully cooked sundried tomato chicken sausage, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

Crust
1 (6.5 oz.) package Martha White® Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
1/2 cup basil pesto
1 teaspoon Mediterranean herb seasoning

Toppings
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1. HEAT oven to 425°F. Heat oil in 10-inch Lodge® cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook shallots and garlic until shallots are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add crushed red pepper. Remove sausage mixture from skillet. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Spray with no-stick cooking spray. Place in oven to heat.

2. STIR together cornbread mix, egg, milk, Romano cheese, pesto and herb seasoning in medium bowl. Pour into hot skillet. Top with sausage mixture, artichoke hearts, red peppers, olives and tomatoes.

3. BAKE 15 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is soft.

Makes 6 servings


Lodge is a trademark of Lodge Manufacturing Company.
National Cornbread Festival is a trademark of National Cornbread Festival, Inc.
FiveStar is a trademark of Brown Stove Works, Inc.
Crisco is a trademark of The J.M. Smucker Company.

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