Monday, January 5, 2009

Cornbread cooks, wield your skillet

A cast iron skillet, your favorite Martha White Cornbread Mix, and a dash of creativity could bring you the $5,000 First Prize in the 2009 National Cornbread Cook-Off. Entries for original main dish cornbread recipes are now being accepted until Feb. 28, 2009, by The National Cornbread Festival for its 13th Annual Cook-Off, sponsored by Martha White and Lodge Cast Iron.
Ten finalists will compete during the National Cornbread Festival and create their original cornbread specialties under the Big Cook-Off Tent on April 25 in South Pittsburg, Tenn. One lucky winner will be chosen as the reigning cornbread champion and receive $5,000 and a 30-inch stainless steel gas range (a $2,500 value) from Five Star Professional Cooking Equipment, a division of Brown Stove Works, Inc.
“Every year I am amazed at the creativity of the cornbread recipes that are submitted from all regions of the country,” said Linda Carman, Martha White baking expert. “We’ve gotten recipes inspired by ethnic cuisines from all over the world, and some of the most popular have been the recipes with a Mexican, TexMex, or Southwestern flair to them. The flavorful ingredients typical of TexMex cooking, paired with cornbread, have always been favorites with entrants and judges.”
In 2003, the trend began to heat up with the winning White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hush Puppy Crust recipe. In 2005, South-of-the Border Chicken Fiesta took second place. And, in 2007, it was Southwest-inspired Chicken Taco Cornbread Wedges with Ranchero Cilantro Drizzle (find recipe at that came out on top.
To qualify for the National Cornbread Cook-Off this year, an entry must be an original main dish recipe and prepared with at least one package of Martha White® Cornbread Mix using Lodge® Cast Iron cookware. Entries must also include contestant’s name, address, daytime phone number, date of birth, and name of grocery retailer.
To enter online, go to the “Promotion and News” section at, and submit your original recipe along with complete contact information.
To enter by e-mail, send your original recipe along with your complete contact information to Online and e-mail entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on Feb. 28, 2009.
To enter by mail, send your original recipe and complete contact information on an 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper to: National Cornbread Cook-Off 2009, 209 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by Feb. 28 and received by March 6.
Ten finalists will be chosen from all entries.
For past winning recipes and complete contest rules, visit or

Cash and Prizes
The Cook-Off grand champion will win a $5,000 cash prize and a 30-inch stainless steel gas range (a $2,500 value) from Five Star® Professional Cooking Equipment, a division of Brown Stove Works, Inc., and special gifts from Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron.
The second prize winner will walk away with $1,000, the third prize winner with $600. The remaining seven finalists will each be awarded $100. All finalists will receive $500 travel reimbursement and gifts courtesy of Martha White and Lodge® Cast Iron.
Sponsored by Martha White Foods, Inc., Lodge Manufacturing Company, and Brown Stove Works, Inc. Open to legal residents of the United States and D.C., 18 years or older, except food professionals, such as chefs, food writers, or food home economists who create recipes for pay. Void outside the 50 United States and D.C. and where prohibited.

White Chicken Chili with Cheddar Hushpuppy Crust

1 tablespoon Crisco Pure Olive Oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 (19 oz.) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (4.5 oz.) can mild green chilies, drained

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1(6 oz.) pkg. Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread Mix
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium heat in a 10 1/2 - inch Lodge cast iron skillet. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, green pepper, cumin and chili powder; sauté about 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add remaining filling ingredients; simmer about 10 minutes.

Beat egg in medium bowl. Add milk, butter and cornbread mix; mix well. Stir in 1/4 cup onion and cheese. Pour over chicken chili in skillet.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Top with sour cream, salsa, and/or cilantro, if desired.

6 servings

South of the Border Chicken Fiesta

1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (6 oz.) pkgs. Southwestern seasoned fully cooked chicken strips
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can nacho cheese condensed soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, divided
1 (7 oz.) pkg. Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix
3/4 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream style corn
1 large egg

Shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, Mexican style shredded cheese to garnish.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a 10 1/2 - inch Lodge® cast iron skillet. Add onion and garlic; cook until tender. Transfer to medium bowl; set aside.

Wipe skillet with paper towel. Combine chicken, soup, sour cream, beans and 4 tablespoons of the chilies in skillet; stir until blended.

Add cornbread mix, cheese, milk, corn, egg and remaining chilies to bowl with cooked onions and garlic; stir until blended. Spread cornbread mixture over chicken filling.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cornbread topping is golden brown. (Place foil or pan on lower rack, in case filling bubbles over.) Cut into wedges; garnish each slice with shredded lettuce, sour cream salsa and cheese.

8 servings