Susan’s Cornbread Salad



     Cornbread salad must be southern cook’s take on classic Italian bread salad. I must admit that the term “bread salad” used to conjure up visions of soggy bread floating in a sea of dressing and so I turned up my nose at the idea. Even at that, I was always intrigued with the idea of cornbread salad but not brave enough to give it a try. Then a couple of years ago we sampled it at a salad supper in Durham, Ks. We both went back for second helpings!
     Bread salads were typically a way to use up day old breads and I imagine that each cook had her/his own spin on the other ingredients that went into the mix.    
     When I interview Susan Taylor last December for my monthly cooking column in the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, she offered up her own take on the salad. She uses black beans (rather than pinto or red), mixes the beans and corn with the dressing and adds a few jalapeños for a little kick.
Susan often takes this salad to “carry-ins,” including funeral dinners. She also suggests using a glass bowl to assemble the salad so everyone can admire the layers of this pretty and very tasty salad. Here’s her recipe as it appeared in my column:

Susan’s Cornbread Salad
1 (6 oz.) pkg. cornbread mix (I used an 8.5 oz. box of Jiffy corn muffin mix*)
1 regular pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream 
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon jarred jalapeño peppers, which are already diced
1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained (or substitute pinto beans)
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped (cherry or grape tomatoes work well, too)
1 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
10 oz. of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Prepare cornbread as directed on package; cool.
2. Combine salad dressing mix, sour cream, mayonnaise and jalapeños.
3. Add the beans, corn, green onions, and green pepper to the dressing; mix thoroughly.
4. Crumble half of the cornbread into a large bowl. Top with half of dressing mixture, and then layer tomatoes, bacon, and cheese. Repeat layers.
5.     Cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving. Keeps well.

*7 Reasons This Muffin Mix Can Save America — After reading this article, I went to the store and brought Jiffy cornbread mixes!

Recipe without photos . . .
Susan’s Cornbread Salad
1 (6 oz.) pkg. cornbread mix (I used an 8.5 oz. box of Jiffy corn muffin mix*)
1 regular pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 (8 oz.) carton sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon jarred jalapeño peppers, which are already diced
1 (14.5 oz.) can black beans, drained  (or substitute pinto beans)
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped (cherry or grape tomatoes work well, too)
1 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
10 oz. of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Prepare cornbread as directed on package; cool.
2. Combine salad dressing mix, sour cream, mayonnaise and jalapeños.
3. Add the beans, corn, green onions, and green pepper to the dressing; mix thoroughly.
4. Crumble half of the cornbread into a large bowl. Top with half of dressing mixture, and then layer tomatoes, bacon, and cheese. Repeat layers.
5. Cover and refrigerate for two hours before serving. Keeps well.

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