10 strips bacon, diced
1 8-ounce package buttermilk cornbread mix
1 0.4-ounce package Hidden Valley Salad Dressing
1⅓ cups Cabot Light Sour Cream
1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
4 bunches spring onions, thinly sliced including some green tops
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained, rinsed and drained
8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 cups)
2 cups fresh corn or 15.25-ounce cans whole kernel corn, drained, or 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
COOK bacon in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon to drain.
PLACE skillet with drippings in oven and preheat to 450°F. Prepare cornbread by package directions and pour carefully into skillet drippings. When done, remove cornbread from skillet to cool completely. Crumble coarsely and set aside.
STIR together dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise.
TOSS tomatoes with, pepper, chilies and onions.
LAYER half cornbread, half of pinto beans, half of tomato mixture, and 1 cup of corn in a glass bowl. Spread with half the dressing and sprinkle with half each bacon and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
**This versatile dish can be a starting point for any cook's creativity. We've made it in the fall with a combination of red, green and yellow tomatoes. When fresh herbs aren't available, use one tablespoon of the same dried herbs or a seasoning blend, such as Herbs de Provence. A sprinkle of garlic powder is another tasteful addition.
Layer this salad in a clear glass bowl for a colorful presentation. In season, use fresh corn and your favorite variety of tomatoes. In winter, substitute plum tomatoes or diced canned tomatoes.
This recipe was inspired by Cabot's participation in Weekend with Paula Deen in Nashville, TN August 18-20, 2006.