In another case of inspiration, or just a reminder, by way of Twitter, last week Huge Galdones was photographing at Hogs & Hominy in Memphis and posted a photo of a sandwich with a sauce I had not seen in a long time – comeback sauce. At first blush, comeback sauce appears to be little more than a riff on Thousand Island dressing, but once you try the sauce, it stays in the rotation.
The thing is, you can not find it anywhere outside of the deep, deep South. This is not a fancy sauce and the name has little cache, it is not remoulade or gribiche. It does not even carry a universal shame food cache like Ranch. So when I read Huge’s tweet, I went to my book collection and the Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook had a recipe for Comeback sauce. An hour later, we had a bottle of comeback sauce.
As you would suspect, making the sauce is not a long or difficult process, but the payoff is that you will be eating comeback sauce on nearly everything you eat until the bottle is gone. We topped meat, squash and Brussels sprouts with it. My mother-in-law has dipped boiled artichoke in comeback sauce for years. It is oddly balanced for a Southern table sauce. It is sweet, salty, and rich. And it needs to be North of Mississippi more than it is.
From the Southern Foodways Alliance Cookbook
2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup chili sauce (the gloppy, ketchup-y Heinz version)
¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon onion powder
2 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon dry mustard
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Stir all ingredients together and let sit overnight before using.