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Cajun Corn Poutine

Robert Rossi | May 25, 2023

2023 Cornbread Cook-off winner Robert Rossi looked at the classic Poutine—a French-Canadian staple dish—and said: I can cornbread that. This Louisiana-born version features creative cornmeal “fries” and gets a kick of heat from pepper jack cheese added to the Sawmill Mornay. Our esteemed Cook-off judges couldn’t resist giving this recipe a first prize win—taste it and you’ll understand why. Bon appetit!

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Cajun Corn Poutine


2 cups cornmeal
5 cups water
4 teaspoons salt, divided
4 teaspoons granulated garlic, divided
½ cup bacon fat                        
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
8 ounces Tasso ham, diced into ½ inch cubes
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
2 quarts vegetable oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias 
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of chipotle powder


  1. Prepare the corn fry batter. Combine cornmeal, water, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of granulated garlic in an 8 Inch cast iron skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes until thickened; empty contents into a shallow lightly greased pan and gently pack down. Allow to cool thoroughly, then turn the batter out from the pan and slice into long skinny "fries.” 

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a 5 quart dutch oven to 350˚ F. Drop the fries into the oil a few at a time and fry until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain.

  3. Make the Sawmill Mornay. Heat bacon fat in the 8 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add flour and mix thoroughly until flour has cooked. Whisk in milk, black pepper, remaining salt, and granulated garlic. Reduce heat to low and cook until mixture thickens, stirring frequently. Add in pepper jack cheese in ½ cup batches, stirring until melted. Add Tasso and allow to heat through.

  4. Assemble the poutine, starting with a bed of corn “fries.” Ladle Sawmill Mornay onto the fries to coat generously, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper and chipotle powder. Top with sliced green onions.

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Contributed By: Robert Rossi

Robert Rossi lives in Independence, Louisiana and took home the coveted 2023 Cornbread Cook-off Crown with this blue-ribbon winning recipe for Cajun Corn Poutine. Learn more about the National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off here!

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