"I adapted the idea for this dish from crawfish boils, and how we'll sometimes make soups from the leftovers of the boils," she said.
The 23rd Annual Lodge National Cornbread Festival will be happening on April 27-28 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
The festival includes a National Cornbread Cook-off on April 27, beginning at 11 a.m. Contestants are required to make a main dish, or entree recipe that includes a cup of Martha White Cornmeal in a Lodge seasoned cast iron skillet. One contestant is Judy Armstrong, who resides in Prairieville.
Armstrong's dish is the Shrimp Boil Cornbread and Étouffée.
"I adapted the idea for this dish from crawfish boils, and how we'll sometimes make soups from the leftovers of the boils," she said. "I decided to try the recipe with boiled shrimp and mix it with the flavors of corn, green onions, and top it with étouffée."
For the last ten years, Armstrong has been cooking as a hobby. She worked in school administration for many years, and cooking was a way for her to have a balance of creativity in her life. She enjoys the entire aspect of cooking, as well as the people she is able to meet through it. Armstrong is currently an Educational Consultant for School Improvement.
"I participated in the cook-off for the first time two years ago, so this will be my second time participating. It's truly a wonderful festival. Everyone is always so friendly and welcoming."
Now until the start of the event, Armstrong plans on practicing making her recipe. Once contestants get to the event, they will be cooking on a main stage located on Third Street in the downtown area of South Pittsburg, Tenn.
"I think where we cook on stage really helps take the stress off of cooking," she said. "It creates an at-home environment. Guests and sponsors will come up and speak to you about what you're doing, just like what happens in the kitchen most of the time."
Judges look for something that people are able to create easily in their own home. Judges for the cook-off are typically well-respected chefs, culinary influencers, and food writers.
There's a great variety of food and culture at the festival, too. People from many different states are participating, including New Jersey, Utah, South Carolina, and California, to name a few.
"I enjoy meeting new people at the cook-offs, trying new recipes, and I love home cooking for family and friends," Armstrong said.
To find out more about the festival and the cook-off, visit www.nationalcornbread.com.
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