Pamela Gelsomini - 1st Place - 2018 Winner
For the Cornbread Cakes:
1, 7-ounce package Martha White® Sweet Yellow Cornbread & Muffin Mix
¼ cup milk
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 ½ cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
For Pancetta Laced Seafood Cream Sauce:
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
¾ pound scallops
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 pound shrimp, shelled & deveined
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces pancetta, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped fine (including seeds)
½ cup green pepper, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the Martha White® Cornbread Mix, egg, milk, corn, and cheese to form a batter. Heat a large Lodge® Cast Iron Skillet over medium heat with the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Working in 2 batches of 3, make 6” pancakes (I use an ice cream scoop to get consistent size). Let cook until you can see the bottoms starting to brown, about 1-2 minutes, and flip to brown the other side. Cakes should be fluffy and golden brown. Place on a cookie sheet, covered with foil, and place in a 200° F oven to keep warm.
2. Heat your Lodge® skillet, over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle scallops with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of the black pepper, the garlic powder, and paprika. Lightly massage the scallops so the seasonings are evenly distributed. Place each scallop in the very hot skillet, careful not to crowd, and sear for 1 ½ minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Add another tablespoon each of olive oil and butter to the pan and sear shrimp until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining olive oil and butter to the pan. Sauté onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add mushrooms and pancetta and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until pancetta renders fat and mushrooms begin to brown. Add jalapeno, green bell, and red bell peppers to the skillet and sauté until just soft, about 3 more minutes.
5. Add corn, cream, and Dijon mustard to the skillet and bring to a boil and let reduce until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in shredded gouda and lemon juice.
6. Serve one gouda corn cake topped with seafood sauce and garnish with parsley.