Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cornbread Heaven in Salad Form: An Eat to the Beat Entry

Doug and I both share a love music, we actually met in band in high school (yeah that's right, we were band geeks). Over the years we've both played a number of different instruments (some well and some not so well; he always better than I). We love to share new songs that we've heard with each other, he loves to expose me to great old bands he enjoys, and I occasionally will force some so-so pop artist upon him. But there is one band that has a very special place in both of our minds: The Dave Matthews Band. The first time I ever rode in a car with Doug he had DMB playing and the song Crash Into Me came on. I had always loved that song and the music video (way back in the day when MTV still played videos) and we started talking about the band (he knew way more about them than I did) and how awesome they were (and shortly after the song ended we shared our first kiss). Needless to say, that became our song. The next year we went and saw DMB perform, our first concert as a couple and had a total blast. Last year when we got married we hunted for the longest time for the perfect song (our reception was at our church, so Crash Into Me was not appropriate: that whole "lift up your skirt and show your world to me" part kind of nixed it); going through lists online and through every cd we both owned before we finally went "hey what about" and then proclaimed Steady as We Go to be the winner. This past summer we went to another DMB concert (our first as a married couple) and had an incredible time. DMB concerts are a blast: they last for a very long time but you never notice it because you are having so much fun.

After the concert I went into a major DMB phase, listening to every one of their cds we owned. During this I realized that one song that I really liked wasn't played at our concert (but I later found out it was played at the first night's show). That song? Cornbread. I won't totally go into details about what this song is about (this is a family blog after all) but let's just say the Dave isn't inviting you over for a nice Sunday lunch featuring fresh baked cornbread! You can check out the lyrics here, if you want to form your own opinion on what the song is about. But it is an incredibly fun song that gets stuck in your head for days and I love it.

Now, I told you all that to lead up to this dish. Last summer Doug's cousin got married in Mobile, Alabama. It was a great wedding with an awesome reception that featured a bunch of tasty salads (among other things). And one of those salads was a Cornbread Salad that we all loved. Doug's aunt thought this was extremely funny because she said every Northerner loves that salad. Then she promptly stated that the caterer refused to give out the recipe. No problem. A few months later I received a cute community cookbook from Doug's grandmother as a gift at my bridal shower and what recipe was in the salad section? That's right, Cornbread Salad. And what's the main ingredient in Cornbread Salad? Cornbread, of course!

So, using DMB's Cornbread as my inspiration and backing track, I offer up this tasty side dish. It is relatively easy to make and very tasty to eat. And I declare it "A little bit of heaven, and a little bit of aw yeah." Try it out yourself, and check out DMB performing the song here.

I'm entering this into Eat To The Beat over at Elly Says Opa. This is a blog event that Elly created where you enter a food item that is in some way connected to a song or band, whether it is named after them or just somehow inspired. So go check out Elly's blog (and prepare to be hungry!)

Cornbread Salad
By Teresa Stanley
From Treasured Recipes By the Monticello United Methodist Church
1 (8.5 oz) package cornbread mix You could make from scratch if you wanted
1 Envelope ranch-style dressing mix I used Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 Cup sour cream
1 Cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
1/2 Cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup sweet red pepper, chopped I didn't add this item this time
1/2 Cup onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) Can pinto beans, drained
2 Cups fresh or frozen corn
2 Cups cheddar cheese, shredded I left this out
10 Slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional) I added this
Bake cornbread mix according to package directions and crumble. Combine ranch-style dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise in a small bowl. In another bowl, mix together peppers, onions, tomatoes, pinto beans, and corn. In a 3-quart salad bowl, layer half of the cornbread, half of the vegetables, half of the cheese, half of the bacon, and half of the dressing. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Note: Use low or no-fat sour cream and mayonnaise to reduce the calories in this dish. The longer this dish sits, the better it tastes.
I just mixed all the ingredients together (cornbread, vegetables, and bacon) and then mixed the dressing into it, that is how we had it before. I made this the day before we ate it and it was really good.


Elly said...

What a fun entry! The cornbread salad sounds really interesting. I've never had anything like that before. Thanks for participating!

Debbie said...

I will post a testimonial as to how great this salad is. It is super good! Have not had it since K made it, and then saw a couple of southern gals making on a food show on tv and I started salivating for this salad! Very unique and it tastes wonderful. One helping will not be enough I assure you.