Mexican Style Cornbread with Chipotle Shrimp Salad

Karen Harris, Littleton, CO - 2nd Place


3 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
½ small yellow onion
¼ large orange of red bell pepper
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh or frozen yellow sweet corn, divided
1 7 oz. package Martha White sweet yellow cornbread mix
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped green onion tops

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup canned adobo sauce
1 ¼ lbs. medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ tablespoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¼ 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


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Pour 1 teaspoon of the oil into the bottom of a Lodge 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet. Rub oil around skillet with a paper towel. Place oiled skillet on stove over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add onion and bell pepper. Toast vegetables until they have brown spots and become aromatic, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Transfer to a medium size mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.
3. Pour 1 teaspoon of the oil into a 10.25-inch Lodge Cast Iron Griddle Pan. Wipe with a paper towel and place in the preheated oven to heat.
4. Wipe skillet out with a paper towel and return to heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and rub it with the paper towel. Heat 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.
5. To the mixing bowl with the vegetables, add the cornbread mix, egg, milk, cilantro and green onions. Mix well. Pour into the hot griddle pan, 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.

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

8. Place mayonnaise, lime juice, and chile powder in the bottom of a medium size salad bowl. Mix well. Add 1/3 of the cheese and stir gently. Place lettuce and avocado on top of the dressing in the bowl, toss until lettuce and avocado are coated.
9. To assemble, slice cornbread into 6 equal sized pieces. Transfer to serving plates. Spoon equal amounts of the shrimp and sauce over the cornbread. Top with dressed lettuce and avocado. Garnish with the reserved corn and grated cheese. Sprinkle with additional chile powder if desired.