It’s crawfish season down South. I love a good boil as much as anyone, but I also enjoy using peeled crawfish tails in other recipes. This cornbread is our take on a popular Mexican version of the dish but features Cajun flavors and crawfish tail meat.
It’s quick and easy to make and works well as a main course, side dish, or appetizer. As with any cornbread recipe, the finished product will taste better done in a preheated cast-iron skillet. Put the skillet, along with a tablespoon of vegetable shortening or lard, in a preheated 375-degree oven while you mix the ingredients. Once you are ready to cook, remove the hot skillet from the oven, swirl the grease around to evenly coat the bottom and sides, then pour the ingredients directly into the skillet before placing it back in the oven to cook. The hot fat and preheated pan give the cornbread that classic, crispy brown crust.
1 pound peeled, cooked crawfish tails
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 teaspoon salt plus a pinch or two
1 tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening
2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
One 15-ounce can cream-style corn
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
In a separate skillet, add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno, along with a pinch or two of salt, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crawfish tails. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Place a 12-inch Lodge cast-iron skillet and a tablespoon of lard or vegetable shortening in a preheated 375-degree oven.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, Cajun seasoning, cayenne, and garlic powder. Stir well to blend.
In a medium bowl, add the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter and mix well. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir well. Add the creamed corn, Monterey Jack cheese, and the cooled crawfish, pepper, and onion mixture. Stir everything one more time to blend.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Swirl the grease to coat bottom and sides. Pour the cornbread mixture into the hot skillet and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the cornbread is well set and no longer sticks to a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted at the center.
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