Seafood Pie with Cornbread Crust

For the topping:

  • 1 cup fine yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn kernels, drained, optional

For the filing:

  • One 1 ½ pound live lobster
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 pound large (about 20 per pound) shrimp
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup bottle clam juice

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Prepare the topping ingredients: Stir the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the milk, egg, and melted butter together until well blended. Set aside separately.

Plunge the lobster into a large pot of boiling water. Cook 8 minutes and drain. When the lobster is cool enough to handle it, remove the meat from the shell.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook just until the onions start to wilt—you don’t want them to color at all—about 2 minutes. Add the scallops and shrimp and cook, stirring, until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Drop in the tomato paste and stir until the seafood is coated. Do the same with the flour. Cook 1 minute, then pour in the clam juice. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in the lobster and scrape into an 11 x 11 inch baking dish.

Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, add the corn, if using, and stir just until blended. If the batter is a little lumpy, that’s ok. Spread the batter in an even layer over the seafood. It doesn’t matter if the seafood pokes through in a few places. Bake until the edges are bubbling and the topping is golden brown in places, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


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