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.
We love how whimsical this looks, and of course, we love how good it tastes. As pleased as we were to show off our cowboy trifle, we couldn’t wait to dive right in and enjoy every layer of goodness. It’s fun to “play” with food and to give a recipe new life by trying out new variations on familiar foods. And we love the name “cowboy trifle” – it makes it sound fun and a little wacky at the same time. But there’s no horsin’ around with this recipe. When this is set out on the table, it’s guaranteed to win some oohs, ahhs, and some yee-haws!
Serves 8-10; 30 minutes
- 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
- 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.
Recipe adapted from Erecipe Cards