CHILE CORN BREAD SALAD
If you have many mouths to feed, this recipe is SOOOO delicious! All the ingredients are cheap and easy to find. It's kind of labor-intensive, so start early and make sure you have all the ingredients and that you are well-organized. (Let the kids help?!) But it's worth it. Every time I bring this to a potluck, I get requests for the recipe.
It's not really just a salad, it's a main dish. The beans and cheese provide the protein, the corn bread provides the carbos, and there are lots of veges for vitamins, etc.. You really don't need anything else to go with it, other than some applesauce or some other fruit for a dessert. (melon is good in season)
The best time to make this is in the summer when you can use fresh, home-grown yummy tomatoes dripping with flavor, along with the green peppers from the garden. But it's great in all the seasons.
The recipe calls for bacon--just leave it out. It really isn't needed at all, honest. But if you're a bacon lover, make the salad after Lent and add the bacon!
The only problem is, this is so good that it doesn't feel like a sacrifice!
1 package (8.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix (or use your own recipe, which is what I do)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
pinch rubbed sage (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip--lite is OK)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream (I've never tried lite, sorry)
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 1/4 oz. each) whole kernel corn, drained
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onions
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (OPTIONAL!)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Do this step in advance, maybe even a day early. Prepare the corn bread batter according to directions. Stir in the chilies, cumin, oregano, and sage. Spread in a greased 8'in. square baking pan. Bake at 400 deg. for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. (Do NOT skip cooling the cornbread!)
When you are ready to actually assemble the salad (after the corn bread is cooled), do these steps:
In a small bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, and dressing mix. Set aside.
Crumble half the cooled corn bread into a 13 X 9 X 2 inch dish. Layer in this order: half of the beans, half of the mayo mixture, half the corn, half the tomatoes, half the green pepper, half the onions, half the bacon if you're using it, and and half the cheese. Repeat layers. DISH WILL BE VERY FULL and HEAVY!!
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Eat and enjoy!
I don't even want to guess the caloric content of a serving. I think you could lighten it up considerably by using lite mayo and lite sour cream. Also, it's filling, so you don't tend to gobble it down like pizza.