And the Winners Are… (Cast Iron Skillet Recipe Contest WINNERS)

We asked – and you answered. We received over 50 great recipes for our Cast Iron Skillet Recipe Contest. I tell you, it was a tough job, but someone had to do it. Narrowing down the stack of mouthwatering recipes was one of the most difficult projects we’ve tackled in months. After an inner-staff taste-test and vote, three recipes emerged as the clear winners.  However, even if these three don’t sound delicious (and we’re not sure how that could be…), we plan to publish the other 50 recipes in a future post, so watch for it! For now, read on…we promise you’ll be getting hungry very soon!

mexicanCasseroleAnd the FIRST-PRIZE WINNER is…

Mexican Casserole – Harriet Engle
Harriet will receive a $100 Lehman’s gift card. Congratulations, Harriet!

Here’s my recipe, passed down from my mom (who still does it better than I do!!)

2 pkgs Jiffy cornbread mix 2 eggs
²⁄3 cup milk 1 can cream style corn
1½ lbs hamburger 1 pkg taco seasoning
Water as needed for taco seasoning 8 oz shredded cheese

In a bowl, mix the cornbread as directed with the milk and eggs; add the cream corn, set aside. In a 12″ skillet, brown the hamburger. Drain the grease, then add the taco seasoning and water, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the skillet. Pour half of the cornbread into the skillet, spread the meat and cheese on top. Finish with the other half of the cornbread mix. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes, serve with taco sauce. If you have your own cornbread recipe or taco seasoning recipe, go right ahead and use them. This is a quick tasty dinner that also freezes well. If your skillet isn’t big enough, you can do this in a dutch oven or 13″ x 9″ cake pan, too.

fiestaChickenThe Runner-up!
Iron Skillet Fiesta Chicken – Jannine Fisk
Jannine will receive a $25 Lehman’s gift card. Congratulations, Jannine!

4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. black pepper
1 large green pepper, cut into strips 1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 large yellow pepper, cut into strips 1 large yellow onion, cut into strips
1 packet (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning (such as Old El Paso brand) 2 boxes (8.5 oz. each) corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy brand)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten ½ cup milk
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish 1 small jalepeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 375° F. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast and season with the salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown on all sides, 6 – 8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the cast-iron skillet and set back over medium heat. Add the green, red and yellow bell pepper strips and the onion strips and cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until softened. Add the reserved browned chicken back into the skillet and stir in the taco seasoning. Mix well and turn off the heat. In a large bowl, combine the corn muffin mix, eggs, milk, fresh cilantro, jalepeno pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until just combined, then spread the mixture evenly over the chicken, peppers and onions in the skillet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top of the batter. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown. Garnish with additional fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve warm and enjoy!

appleGingerbreadAnd finally … A Very Honorable Mention:
Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake – Mary Marlowe Leverette
Mary receives the deep admiration of our taste buds and bellies from tasting this rich, spongy, sweet gem of a cake.
Thank you, Mary!

4 tablespoons butter ¼ cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons molasses ½ cup chopped pecans
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced very thinly  
½ cup sugar ½ cup butter
1 egg 1 cup molasses
1½ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cloves ½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups plain flour 1 cup hot water

Heat oven to 350° F. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter to begin the topping mixture. Stir in brown sugar, molasses and pecans. Evenly layer apples over the sugar mixture. To make gingerbread, cream butter and sugar and add egg. Add molasses. Stir together dry ingredients and slowly add to molasses mixture. Add hot water and mix well. Pour batter on top of apples. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until gingerbread springs back lightly when pressed with a finger. Remove skillet from oven and invert onto a heatproof serving plate. Serve warm or cold. Very good with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.

5 thoughts on “And the Winners Are… (Cast Iron Skillet Recipe Contest WINNERS)

  1. I must admit I’m disappointed. The top recipes call for boxed/packaged ingredients. I use as little of those as I possibly can. I would certainly never use a boxed cornbread mix, or seasoning mix.

  2. I was shocked to see prepared seasoning mix and boxed cornmeal mix as being eligible for this site. Many of us “create” our own mixes and seasonings from scratch and have been doing it for years. I feel the competition is unfair to those of us who cherish being “natural” in our cooking.

  3. Thank you for bringing your comments and concerns to our attention. You’ve brought up a very good point, and any future contests we hold will have more specific guidelines (we left this one wide open).

    We do hope you will still try the recipes – using your own mixes and seasonings in place of the store-bought ones. After all, what’s a good recipe if you can’t tweak it to suit your family’s tastes and preferences?

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  4. Forget the food nazis. For me Lehman’s is about country living not about urban health phobias. I was brought up in the country on butter, white flour,lard,sugar,canned food, and more butter if the cow was fresh. I am now 62 and not obese, have low cholesterol, and I have had my arteries checked and have zero blockage.
    I think a country food contest should be about good taste. Besides, most health food recipes I have are only healthy because your not going to eat much of it. Leftover cold black casserole anybody? yummm
    You should leave your contest just like it is. Those are the recipes I am going to keep

    jiffy mix lover jackiet