cornbread salad

Some of you might not think to put cornbread and salad together, but hey, if it works, go with it. You ask anyone in the South who has ever been to a picnic, potluck, or family gathering and you can bet they have had this at one time or another. The crisp corn and bacon and the cool, smooth ranch dressing pair beautifully with the fresh, sweet cornbread.
¾ cup cornmeal
⅔ cup self-rising flour (I use White Lily)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup buttermilk
6 slices bacon
1 (1-ounce) envelope Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
½ cup sour cream
½ cup Miracle Whip
½ cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn, thawed, or kernels from 6 fresh ears
1 (12-ounce) can Del Monte Fiesta corn, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen peas, thawed
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced and drained in a fine-mesh sieve
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven to get hot.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into the hot skillet. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.
3. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, turning once, about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the salad dressing mix, sour cream, Miracle Whip, and mayonnaise.
5. In a large bowl, mix together both types of corn, the beans, peas, onion, and tomato. Crumble in the bacon and then crumble in half of the cornbread. Mix well and then stir in the dressing mixture and half of the cheddar.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and crumble the remaining cornbread on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and serve.

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