The old adage “If you snooze you lose” comes to mind when I look back at 2016 Lodge Cast Iron-National Cornbread Cooking Contest. I won a coveted spot in the 2016 cook-off with my Southwestern Posole Stew with Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Sticks but had to decline the offer to compete due to prior travel plans the same weekend. Instead, I went to see my grandchildren and grown kids on what I lovingly call my 2016 grand baby tour. It was bittersweet to say “no” to competing at the Cornbread Festival because this grandma loves to compete but loves her sweet grand-babies even more! Just look at their beautiful smiles and tell me you wouldn’t do the same!
I didn’t publish my 2016 recipe to the blog so I could resubmit it for this years contest sadly, my recipe wasn’t chosen as a finalist hence, if you snooze you lose. I’m posting my recipe today in homage to my dear friends that will be competing at the Cornbread Festival this weekend. There names are highlighted below.
The 2017 finalists are as follows:
- Robin Kessler, Sarasota, FL; Butternut and Sage Sausage Skillet Tart with Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda
- Pamela Gelsomini, Wrentham, MA; Cornbread Crusted Catfish Jambalaya
- Ashlyn Morgan, Englewood, TN; Cornbread Cuban Sandwiches with Mojo Sauce
- Devon Delaney, Westport, CT; Seared Steakhouse Cornbread Crepes with Horseradish Caper Sauce
- Felice Bogus, Raleigh, NC; Smokey Chicken Tinga Street Gorditas
- Hidemi Walsh, Centreville, VA; Chili Shrimp and Coconut Cornbread
- Sherry Kozlowski, Morgantown, WV; Seafood Pot Pie
- Shauna Havey, Roy, UT; Steak & Eggs Cornbread Dutch Baby
- Mary Edwards, Long Beach, CA; Cajun Spoon Bread
- Michele Kusma, Columbus, OH; Shakshuka-Topped Cornbread Skillet
Each year during the last full weekend in April our hometown of South Pittsburg, Tennessee lights up to celebrate a staple in the Southern kitchen: cornbread. As a part of the National Cornbread Festival, Lodge sponsors the National Cornbread Cook-off, a search for the nation’s best main dish cornbread recipe
I’m sending all my best to each and everyone of you. Happy contesting and may the best recipe WIN!
By the way…these are some of the best Jalapeño Cornbread sticks I’ve ever made!
- Main Dish
- 1 12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 Lodge Cast Iron Cornstick pan (7 piece)
- Utensils: 2 large metal or wooden spoons, Sharp 10-inch chef knife, Sharp 6 inch pairing knife, 3 spatulas, 3 mixing bowls, misc. measuring bowls, cups, and spoons
- 2 7-ounce packages Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix
- 1/2 cup canned creamed corn
- 1 teaspoon minced onion
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh diced jalapeño, red and green
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cups cubed pork loin
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 4 ounce-can chopped green chili
- 1 tablespoon chicken base
- 1 14-ounce white hominy, with liquid
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-4 tablespoon red tomato salsa
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cotija cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- 1 lime
- Pre-heat oven 375 Degrees F.
- Pour 2 packages Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread mix into a medium mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup canned creamed corn, 1 teaspoon minced onion, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoon diced jalapeño, and 1 cup buttermilk. Mix with a spoon until ingredients are incorporated
- Heat Lodge Cast Iron Cornstick Pan in oven at 375 degrees F. for 5 minutes. Using a pastry brush, oil pan liberally with vegetable oil.
- Pour 2 tablespoons cornbread mixture into oiled pans and bake at 375 Degrees F. for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Gently remove cooked cornsticks to a plate and continue process until batter is all gone. Be sure to brush any excess bread bits out of the pan, and brush with more oil for each batch.
- While cornsticks are baking, cube pork into 1/2-inch cube. Season meat with a 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium high heat, sauté meat until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove cooked pork to bowl
- To the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon oil and sauté onions until translucent, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add 1 14-ounce can white hominy with liquid to skillet and stir to remove browned bits from the bottom of pan. Add red chili powder, chicken base, red tomato salsa, and canned chopped green chili, stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook stew for 20-45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1/2 cup water if stew gets too thick
- Serve Southwestern Pasole with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornsticks. Garnish with, lime wedges, and cotija Mexican cheese
- Alternate preparation: Pour stew into individual size Lodge Cast Iron skillets (6.5 inch), dollop 2 tablespoons uncooked cornstick mixture over the Posole. Bake at 375 F. until cornbread is golden brown