May 28, 2013

Tennessee Cornbread Salad

I love cornbread, especially the way my mother made it.  It was somewhat thin and had the crispiest crust imagineble. When she would not be looking, I would break off a piece of the crust and quickly eat it, savoring every bite.  Some people put sugar in theirs, others put in cracklins, but I like mine just like Mom's. I have an electric oven and find it hard to duplicate the crust.  So, all I can do is remember how it is supposed to be. 

When I lived in Tennessee in 2001, I tasted the most delicious cornbread salad that one of my co-workers made.  I had never heard of making a salad with cornbread until then.  On a whim, I made it this evening.  I am in heaven.  I brought two of my neighbors a bowl and a co-worker will get a taste tomorrow.  I ate more than my fair share this evening.  No wonder I have a problem keeping my weight down. I make my own cornbread, so no box stuff for this recipe.

Ingredients for Cornbread:

1 cup self rising flour
1 cup self rising cornmeal mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil or shortening
1 egg
2/3 - 1 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  In a large skillet,  melt the shortening over medium heat.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and then add the melted shortening.  Mix well.  I leave about 1-2 tbs of oil in the bottom of the skillet to help crisp up the crust.  Place in the oven and bake until the bread is brown on both the top and bottom, about 20-30 minutes.  Once done, set aside to cool.

Ingredients for Salad:

2-3 roma tomatoes or your favorite brand of tomato, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped, about a cup
1 lb of bacon, I used turkey bacon instead
2-3 cups of mayonaise
2-3 heaping soup spoons of sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup of pickle juice or to taste
black pepper to taste.

In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towels.  When cool, crumble the bacon into small pieces.

In a large bowl, add the tomatoes, pepper, onion, bacon and 3/4 of the cornbread.  Add the mayonaise, pickle relish and pickle juice.  Toss lightly.  I used about 2 cups of mayonaise, but if that is too dry for your taste add more.  Chill for a couple of hours and then serve.  If you are anything like me, I couldn't wait but ate it right away.  Enjoy!