Mexican-Style Cornbread with Chipotle Shrimp Salad

Karen Harris – Littleton, Colorado
2016 Second Prize Winner

3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 of a large orange of red bell pepper, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh or frozen yellow sweet corn, divided
1 (7 ounce) package Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup canned adobo sauce
1 1/4 pounds medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1∕8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon mild chile powder
3 ounces cotija cheese, grated, divided
1 medium size head of red leaf lettuce, cut into strips
1 ripe, yet firm avocado, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into the bottom of a Lodge® 10 1/4-inch cast iron skillet. Rub the oil around the skillet with a paper towel. Place the oiled skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onion and bell pepper. Toast the vegetables until they have brown spots and become aromatic, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use. Pour 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into the cast iron griddle. Wipe with a paper towel and place in the preheated oven to heat.

Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel and return to the heated oven. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the skillet and rub it with the paper towel. Heat the pan to hot and add the corn to the skillet and toast (stirring occasionally) until it is slightly blistered and has brown spots. Transfer 2/3 to the bowl with the other vegetables and reserve 1/3 for garnish.

To the mixing bowl with the vegetables, add the cornbread mix, egg, milk, cilantro and green onions. Mix well. Pour onto the hot griddle, smoothing with the back of a spoon until it is evenly distributed. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until it is a light golden brown. Keep warm until ready to use.

Wipe the cast iron skillet out with paper towel. Heat the pan on stovetop over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil and butter. When butter is melted, add onion and sauté until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add the adobo sauce and stir well to incorporate. Once the mixture is hot and bubbly, add the shrimp and sauté until they just start to turn opaque. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper, stir well. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm until ready to use.

Put the mayonnaise, lime juice and chile powder in a medium size salad bowl. Mix well. Add 1/3 of the cheese and stir gently. Place the lettuce and avocado on top of the dressing in the bowl. Toss until the lettuce and avocado are coated.

To assemble, slice the cornbread into 6 equal sized pieces. Transfer to serving plates. Spoon equal amounts of the shrimp and sauce over the cornbread. Top with the lettuce and avocado dressing. Garnish with the reserved corn and grated cheese. Sprinkle with additional chile powder if desired.