Want to make something impressively delicious on the fly? Seafood cornbread is the way to go. Yesterday my cousin Deadra and I tested an original shrimp cornbread recipe that was savory and satisfying. It is a perfect intersection of South Louisiana spice and Mississippi Delta comfort. We’re going to do more testing with a crawfish version, but I wanted to share this one with you while the cast iron was hot.
Here are the wet and dry ingredients we used for my basic cornbread recipe:
1 cup of flour
1 cup of yellow ground cornmeal
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup melted butter (or fat of your choice), cooled
In addition, we used:
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (we used mild, but it’s your choice)
1/2 pound of fresh, peeled and deveined Gulf shrimp, cut into small pieces
1 TBSP olive oil
Dried seasonings of your choice (such as Tony Chachere’s, celery seed, etc.)
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/8 cup jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
What we did:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together your dry cornbread ingredients. Add the shredded cheese to this bowl and set aside.
In a skillet on medium heat add the olive oil and the onion. Stir and cook until the onions are slightly opaque, 3-4 minutes, and then add the other vegetables. Continue to stir and cook until they are slightly soft, another 3-4 minutes. Add the shrimp. Stir and add your dried seasonings. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp are lightly pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk and melted butter.
Pour your shrimp and seasonings and the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Fold gently until well mixed. DO NOT OVERWORK THE BATTER. If it’s lumpy, that’s okay.
Grease the bottom and sides of each cup of a 12-muffin baking pan. Fill about two-thirds full of batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. The muffins should be lightly brown on top when done.
The finished product had a subtle shrimp flavor. The cornbread was rich and soft on the inside and perfectly crusty on the outside.
As we slathered butter on them and reflected, Deadra and I thought about changes we might make next time:
- Using crawfish instead of shrimp.
- Using more cheese or different cheeses.
- Using more jalapeno.
- Trying different dried seasonings, such as bay leaf and cayenne, to increase the spice factor.
Try these out and give me feedback!