A chef friend of mine, Julia Buttermore recently brought the Southwest cornbread salad to an event.  It looked beautiful and I fell for it.  I’ve had cornbread salad in the past but it was usually made with mayonnaise and I didn’t really care much for it, but this had some sour cream and dressing but not too much.  I brought this salad to the annual Legacy Boxer Rescue picnic yesterday and had many positive comments and requests for the recipe so here it is, as it was given to me by the other Chef Julia! Start with a 13 X 9 inch pan of cornbread.  Make your own, buy it, use a mix, whatever you prefer.  I made my own using the recipe below. Green Chile Cornbread 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (I use Lamb’s Mill) 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoons kosher salt 2/3 cup canola oil 2 eggs 8 ounces sour cream 14 ounce can creamed corn 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper 1/4 cup fine chopped roasted, peeled, seeded, Hatch green chiles 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 13 X 9 baking dish with non stick baking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, eggs, sour cream and creamed corn.  Stir in the bell pepper and green chile.  Add the cheese and stir.  Add mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir until combined.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cut cornbread into 1 inch cubes and place on a large baking sheet (or two).  Toast in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, turning a few times. Cornbread Salad 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and sliced in thin shreds (or use the prewashed bags) 10 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cooked and sliced 16 ounces sour cream 1 can black beans, rinse and drained 1 can corn, drained or 2 cups frozen corn, cooked 2 cups cherry tomatoes, slice 2 cups chopped sweet onion 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese 8 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese Southwest spices to taste 1/2 cup toasted pecans Fresh cilantro for garnish Mix southwest spices with sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Layer all ingredients, including dollops of sour cream in a clear bowl, starting with cornbread.  Top with avocado dressing or use bottled ranch dressing if you prefer. Sprinkle with bacon and cilantro. Avocado Dressing 2 ripe avocados 1/2 cup minced onions 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 T fresh lime juice 2 teaspoons hot sauce 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt Combine in food processor and process until smooth, cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.