Tuesday, July 6, 2010
We've all heard the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Well...along those lines, I say, when life gives you mediocre cornbread, make cornbread salad! Last week I executed a failed attempt at a traditional Southern dinner. I made a jalapeno cornbread that we all found "just okay". Needless to say, I had quite I bit leftover. I remembered hearing about cornbread salad somewhere, so I decided to search Google. This turned up quite a few results. It seems that it's a popular salad. Where have I been? I decided to pick and choose from the numerous recipes and create one that worked for me and the ingredients that I had in my house. As it turned out, it was pretty darn good. The cornbread salad was WAY better than the cornbread that inspired it. I'd describe it as a cross between 7 Layer Salad and Taco Salad. I know that the salad was intended to be a side dish, but we ate it for dinner the first night and then served it at our cookout the next.
I got my prep work out of the way before assembling the salad. First, I mixed together a cup of light mayo, a cup of light sour cream, and a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix.
Then I chopped a couple of big tomatoes, a few green onions (it came out to a little over 1/2 cup) and half of a green pepper (another half of a cup).
I also fried and crumbled 10 slices of bacon.
Then I reached for the leftover cornbread.
I crumbled about 3 of the pieces into the bottom of a 9 X 13 casserole dish. You could use a big salad bowl for this too.
Then I topped it with half of a 30 oz. can of rinsed and drained pinto beans.
I spread half of the chopped veggies over the pinto beans.
Then topped it with a can of drained whole kernel corn.
Next, I sprinkled on half of the bacon and a cup (or more) of shredded cheese.
And finally, half of the ranch dressing mixture.
I repeated the layers, ending with cheese.
Here's the finished product.
And a closer look.
Pop it into the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
•1 recipe of cornbread
•1 envelope ranch dressing mix
•1 cup (8 oz)light sour cream
•1 cup light mayonnaise
•2 cans (16 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
•2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
•10 slices bacon, fried very crispy, and crumbled
•1 can whole kernel corn, drained
•1/2 cup each of green bell pepper and green onion, diced and 2 chopped tomatoes
Make up the cornbread, cool. Stir together salad dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise until blended; set aside. Combine tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Toss gently. Crumble 1/2 of the cornbread into a casserole dish or large bowl. Top with half each of beans, tomato mixture, cheese, bacon, corn and dressing mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
Note: The next time that I make this, I may add salsa, Rotel, or hot sauce to give it a little extra kick!