When you are hankerin’ for some Southern barbecue, are you really craving that super-sauced shredded pork sandwich, or all the fixin’s that go alongside? Which comes first, the bite of sandwich or chunk of fried potato? For me, it’s all about the starters, and nothing gets me started like a big old basket of fried pickles with a bowlful of spicy comeback sauce, which gets its name from Jackson, Mississippi, where it was created.
There are a bunch of ways to create the batter for the pickles. I like the combination of seasoned flour and buttermilk for a tangy topping. You can use any pickles and fry them whole or cut them into slices. I like to cut whole pickles into diagonal slices giving a two-bite serving. You can use dill pickles or sweet pickles or sweet and spicy pickles. I like good old-fashioned dill pickles right from the jar. You can fry them in vegetable oil or peanut oil. I have vegetable in my pantry, so that’s the way I roll. For the sauce, you can choose your favorite combo, but I like comeback sauce which is similar (although simpler) to remoulade sauce.
Whichever way you fry your pickle, you and your pals are sure to enjoy the results!
With Comeback Sauce
serves a crowd
30 minute cuisine
1 large jar whole dill pickles, drained
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
½ cup buttermilk
Vegetable (or peanut) oil for frying
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Cut the pickles into ¼-inch thick diagonal slices. Place the slices onto a baking sheet lined with paper toweling. Use additional paper toweling to dry the pickles slices thoroughly. Place the pickles into the fridge while you stir together the sauce.
Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Place the flour, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk. The batter will be thick.
Heat vegetable oil in a fryer or deep pan over high heat. You want enough oil to only come up ⅓ of the side of the pan. Dip one pickle slice into the batter. Shake off excess and carefully place in the hot oil. Repeat with several pickle slices. Do not overcrowd the pan. Use a slotted spoon to turn the pickles slices over once they are golden on one side, about 1 to 2 minutes total frying time per slice. Remove the slices to a baking sheet lined with paper toweling. Continue until all of the pickle slices are fried. Serve the warm pickles with the sauce for dipping.