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Garlicky Shrimp and Spinach Cornbread


I think it is very appropriate that my inaugural blog should be the recipe that started it all.  Back in 2007, I stumbled across a call for original recipe submissions for the National Cornbread Festival Cook-Off, in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.  The recipe had to include a Martha White cornbread mix and had to be prepared in a Lodge cast iron skillet.  I had neither at home, so with the deadline looming just a few days away, I set out to find both.  I told myself that I would go to ONE store, and if they did not have the items I needed, it was not meant to be.  Instead, I found the Martha White cornbread mix and not only a Lodge cast iron skillet, but one that was on sale!  It was TOTALLY meant to be!

Over the course of the next couple of days, I experimented with 4 recipes and submitted them to the contest.  A month or so later, I came home from a tumultuous day of rehearsals, only to find a most friendly, bubbly, southern accented female voice on my answering machine, notifying me that I was one of the 10 finalists!  I nearly cried with joy and disbelief.

A month or so later, my parents, aunt, cousin and entire brother’s family (who met us there from Crossville, TN) and I packed up shrimp, garlic, spinach, Martha White cornbread mix, a Lodge skillet and any other thing I needed, and headed down to Tennessee to win myself $5,000 and a new stove.  Upon our arrival at the Cornbread Festival, my heart was filled with excitement.  From the moment the announcer said, “Ladies, start your ovens!”, I trembled with glee as I prepared my dish.


Well, long story short, I didn’t win the $5,000 or the stove, but I was given the best gift of all–the passion and thrill that only the world of cooking and experimenting and recipe inventing can bring.  I was hooked.

Oh, and the not-so award winning recipe?  Garlicky Shrimp and Spinach Cornbread.



Garlicky Shrimp and Spinach Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
National Cornbread Festival ‘07
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (or 3 cups chopped fresh spinach)
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped and patted dry
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) pkgs. Martha White® Yellow Cornbread Mix
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup cocktail sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese with cream with electric mixer. Add eggs, Old Bay, lemon pepper, chives and garlic. Stir in swiss cheese, spinach and shrimp.
  2. In another medium bowl, mix crust ingredients thoroughly. Spread into greased 10-1/2 inch Lodge® cast iron skillet. Spoon filling over crust, leaving a ½ inch space from the edge. Bake at 375˚for 55-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and middle is set. Remove from oven and cool 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

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