Cornbread Casserolefeatured

I was looking for a good cornbread recipe the other day and came across the website for the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. It sounds like quite the shindig, with a cook-off (naturally), carnival, car show, road race, and beauty pageant—oh, to be crowned Miss National Cornbread Queen! **hands clasped in joy** Friendly mocking aside, I really kind of want to attend this year’s festivities. April 25-26, 2009. Calendar marked. Any who, I decided to soothe my southern envy by making myself a cornbread dinner. The NCF kindly posts all the winning recipes, and 3rd place winner, Earl Brandy, Jr.’s Sausage Pepper Cheese Quiche with Cornbread Crust caught my eye. I made do with my Pyrex pan (mental note: buy cast iron skillet so as not to be mocked at NCF’09) and it came out just fine. Other substitutions: I omitted the vegetable oil, and added some sugar and butter to the cornbread crust since I thought the original version came out a little bland and dry. In the filling, I swapped out the half and half with milk, and doubled up on the peppers and onions instead of using mushrooms (I almost never have mushrooms in the kitchen...too lazy to prep them). Earl Brandy Jr. also uses a mix of red and green peppers. I think red peppers are sweeter so I just use those. And then toppings...I omitted the tomatoes and avocado because I thought the flavors were getting too busy, but feel free to add if you want. The sour cream lends a nice cool, creamy complement to the dish, and the cilantro adds a little bit of green freshness. I have a feeling this will become a staple weeknight dinner around here. Quick, easy, and comforting.

Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread Casserole

Cornbread Casserole

Yield: 8-10 servings

Adapted from Earl Brandy, Jr.’s Sausage Pepper Cheese Quiche with Cornbread Crust – 3rd place winner, 2008 National Cornbread Festival

Ingredients

    Cornbread Crust:
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup coarse ground corn meal (or polenta)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (4 1/2 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
  • Filling:
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 2 cups chopped red bell pepper (2 large peppers)
  • 2 cup chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded yellow Cheddar cheese
  • Toppings:
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 3 quart (13x9) pyrex dish; place in oven 7 to 8 minutes or until hot.
  2. Add baking soda to buttermilk; set aside for 5 minutes. In large mixing bowl, combine all cornbread crust ingredients; stir until well blended. Pour into hot baking dish. Bake at 400°F for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Reduce oven to 350° F. In large mixing bowl, combine 5 eggs, milk, salt, pepper and cumin; beat well.
  4. Remove the sausage from their casings and brown, breaking it up into pieces. Remove the sausage from the pan, draining excess fat. Sautee peppers and onions.
  5. Layer sausage, peppers, onions, and cheeses over crust. Pour egg mixture over top. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro.
http://lickmyspoon.com/recipes/cornbread-casserole/

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