1. Cut corn kernels from cobs; discard cobs. Taste corn. If it's tender, use raw; if it's starchy, cook as directed in notes. Put in a large bowl.
2. Cut chilies, bell pepper, and cucumber into 1/4-inch dice; add to bowl, along with green onions, jicama, and beans.
3. Cut avocados in half; pit and peel them. Cut 3 halves into 1/4-inch dice; reserve remaining half for dressing. Add diced avocado, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon chili flakes to bowl and mix gently. Add salt to taste.
4. Mound salad equally in wide, shallow bowls. Pile croutons alongside and spoon dressing over the top (or serve on the side). Sprinkle with more chili flakes to taste.
Green desert dressing: In a blender or food processor, whirl 1 peeled avocado half (see New Mexico chopped salad, preceding), 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup reduced-fat or regular mayonnaise, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley, 1/4 cup chopped green onions (including tops), and 1 can (2 oz.) flat anchovy fillets with oil until smooth. Makes about 1 3/4 cup.
Cornbread croutons: Prepare 1 box (about 13 oz.) cornbread mix as directed, or use your favorite cornbread recipe; bake in an 8-inch square pan. Let cool about 10 minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread 3 tablespoons olive or salad oil in a rimmed 10- by 15-inch pan. Add cornbread and turn to coat lightly with oil. Bake in a 375° regular or convection oven, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes. Use warm or cool.