BY RICHARD MOOREY
LAST week a foodie friend of mine, Joelle Kenney asked me if I had a recipe for something called Southern Comeback Sauce. I had never heard about this sauce before so of course the investigative chef in me kicked into high gear and I did a little research. It turns out it’s a very popular and versatile sauce more commonly called Mississippi Comeback sauce as it was created in a Mississippi kitchen.
Comeback Sauce has a long history and has been traced back all the way to the 1930s to a Greek restaurant called The Rotisserie, located in Jackson, Mississippi. To the Rotisserie it was their signature house dressing and it very quickly caught on as a customer favourite and was copied and spread across the city to other restaurants and eventually across the south. As chefs we all know about the five mother sauces but when you live in Mississippi Comeback Sauce is often considered mother sauce number six.
A truly versatile and flavourful sauce, Comeback Sauce can be used as a burger condiment, a dip for French fries, deep fried shrimp, battered fish, mozzarella sticks, fried chicken and any myriad of other fried foods. It’s a winner as a sandwich spread like on Muffaletta’s and Po’ Boys, drizzled on hot-dogs or even pizza. Comeback sauce is also regularly used as a salad dressing and as a dip for fresh vegetables. I can honestly say that it’s a simple sauce that is a pretty terrific accompaniment anywhere that you would use a condiment! I'm pretty sure you'll fall in love with Comeback Sauce too and agree that it’s aptly named as it will have you coming back for more time and time again.
The ingredients for Comeback Sauce are definitely not complex although they do seem to vary a bit from region to region. Most of the recipes that I researched contain some mix of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper, cayenne, onion and garlic in various quantities and it seems from there it’s any other additional ingredients that have a tendency to vary creating all the different regional spins on the original.
So Joelle Kenney, as requested, here is my spin on this Mississippi mainstay which I tweaked with a little dill pickle, horseradish and caper. I definitely encourage anyone looking to add a little smashmouth to their eats this week to give this mother sauce of the south a try and enjoy yourself some great eats with a sauce that truly does deliver tastitude.
Chef House’s Mississippi Comeback Sauce
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 small dill pickle, chopped
- 1 tsp. Worcesterchire sauce
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. drained prepared horseradish
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp. capers
- 2 tsp. whole grain mustard
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.
Richard Moorey (aka Chef House) can be reached with email to firstname.lastname@example.org, through his website at www.evot.ca, or on his Facebook group Evolution of Tastitude. You can follow him on Twitter @House_74.