Cowboy Cornbread Trifle

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Giddyup! Yee-haw! And Yah-hoo! We’ve got a side dish that will make everyone feel like sittin’ down for some grub. We love to make food that not only tastes good but also looks good. We’ve taken a version of our favorite dessert and a favorite dip and combined them into one delicious and visually tempting side dish. A trifle is typically a layered dessert with cake, fruit, and cream. It’s served in a clear bowl or serving dish so that each layer is visible to the “audience” – and boy does it look pretty. We took the idea of this sweet dessert and turned it into a savory side dish that is just as pretty and oh-so-tasty.

Layering always makes a meal look a little fancier, even something as informal as a 7-layer dip looks amazing because of all the different tiers of color. Layer cakes, parfaits, and trifles all have that layered look that renders them a little more elegance than their humble ingredients might otherwise indicate. Our cowboy trifle takes the elements of a trifle but uses cornbread instead of cake, a salsa blend instead of fruit, and a cool creamy dip in place of sweet cream. We build each layer in just the same way as we would a dessert trifle, and here it’s also nice to have a clear bowl so that the crowd can see each layer upon delicious layer.

INGREDIENTS
1 box cornbread mix, prepared per package instructions
2 medium jalapeños, seeded and minced
½ medium yellow onion
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 pound thick sliced bacon, cooked and chopped into bits
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup ranch dressing
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, juices drained
2 (16 oz) cans beans (pinto, kidney, or black), drained and rinsed
2 (16 oz) cans sweet corn, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste

PREPARATION
Cut prepared cornbread into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
Toss tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, beans, jalapeños, and corn together in a bowl to make a salsa.
Combine mayonnaise and ranch dressing, add salt and pepper, to taste.
Build trifle: add 1 layer of chopped cornbread, followed by a layer of salsa; add shredded cheese, followed by a layer of mayonnaise mixture, and a layer of diced bacon.
Repeat until layers reach top of serving bowl. Garnish top with green onions and any remaining cheese and bacon. Refrigerate before serving.

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