The 19th Annual Cornbread Cook-Off is just a few days away, and we’ve added a little twist to this year’s event. Instead of calling for new entries, we are bringing back 10 past winners to compete in an All-Star Cook-Off.
The festival is a celebration of one of my favorite foods; cornbread cooked in cast iron. The Cook-Off goes a step farther with entries that combine classic cornbread with other ingredients to create unique main dishes inspired by this Southern favorite.
Karen won the 1998 Cook-Off with her Festive Good Luck Cornbread Skillet. Combining some of my favorite things – smoked sausage, black-eyed peas and cornbread – this recipe is a tribute to classic Southern ingredients put together in a creative new way. I guess throwing in a few of the South’s “good luck” ingredients worked for this grand prize winner.
With a little inspiration from New Orleans and Cajun cooking, Valerie whipped up
The Crescent City Skillet in 2004 to become the grand prize winner. Her skillet is made with spicy sausage and shrimp in a rich cheese sauce made with cream, broth and two cheeses. The whole thing is blanketed with cornbread made with Martha White Buttermilk Cornbread Mix.
Ideal for a brunch or casual supper, Janice created Monte Cristo Cornbread Skillet for the competition in 2006. This savory bread pudding uses cooked, cubed cornbread layered with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese combined with an egg and milk mixture. Sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and drizzled with a currant jelly and mustard sauce, this delicious dish definitely lives up to its namesake.
The 2014 winner, Andrea, took the prize for her Roasted Tomato and Bacon Cobbler. This savory cobbler takes the familiar flavors of classic tomato pie. Roasted tomatoes are layered with a creamy herbed cheese filling and baked under a layer of crisp cornbread enhanced with bacon and sundried tomatoes.
The National Cornbread Festival is such a fun weekend. Thousands converge upon this quaint town every April to see the sights, feel the history and taste the cornbread cooking downtown. Be sure to mark this All-Star Cornbread Cook-Off on your calendar for Saturday, April 25, 2015 in South Pittsburg, Tenn.