Comeback dressing

I got a phone call yesterday from former Daily Journal sports writer and outdoors writer Mark Beason, who wanted to share a recipe with me. I fondly call Beason “Ladle Boy,” because he has a ladle fetish. There’s no telling how many he has in his collection. There’s no finer gift for him for any occasion than a new ladle.

Ladle Boy wanted to tell me that he had procured the original recipe for Comeback Dressing, also known as Comeback Sauce. It’s very popular in the Jackson area and down around the Coast, I believe, but it’s not very common in the hill country where we live.

Beason said you can get Comeback Dressing in just about any Jackson-area restaurant. Folks use it on chicken, fish, salads, sandwiches, shrimp … you name it … they use it.

Here’s what he passed on to me. I haven’t tried the recipe yet myself, but Beason’s a pretty decent cook, so I’m going to trust him on this one.

Comeback Dressing

1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup hot chili sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup oil (canola or evoo)
1 teaspoon Worchestershire
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 small onion, diced fine
1 lemon juiced
1 tablespoon water
Dash of Tabasco
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.



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14 responses to “Comeback dressing

  1. tupelobizbuzz

    I thought Abner’s sauce was North Mississippi’s version of Comeback sauce. It’s everywhere. Does it fit in another category?

  2. d1carter

    This one sounds good. I’ll give it a try. Hey, I tried the Vidalia Onion Cheese dip. It is very good. Keep ’em coming. I’m loving this blog.


  3. ginnaparsons

    I didn’t realize Abner’s sauce was NeMiss’ version of Comeback Sauce. But even if it is, one can only get it at Abner’s (as opposed to its being on everyone’s dressing menu, like Ranch or Thousand Island). I’ve never had Abner’s sauce or Comeback Sauce, so I can’t say myself whether they taste alike.

  4. tupelobizbuzz

    You’ve never had Abner’s sauce? Wow. And when I say Abner’s sauce, I mean the generic term for the pinkish orange sauce that is typically served at chicken strip restaurants (Abner’s, Guthries, Zaxby’s, Raising Cane). Each one calls it their own sauce (ie: Abner’s sauce or Guthries’ sauce). You also can find it at pretty much any Southern comfort restaurant (even in NeMiss).

    The vague recipe listed on wikipedia for the Cane’s sauce looks a lot like Mark’s recipe.

    And, I called Ajax today in Oxford and the sauce woman there says that the “horserashy Thousand Island-like” dressing is indeed comeback sauce or dressing.

  5. tupelobizbuzz

    And, that should be horseradishy … My mistake.

  6. tupelobizbuzz

    This is my last comeback sauce post and then I’m leaving it alone. I know I’m strange, Ginna, but you need to dip a fried pickle into some comeback sauce to understand why it’s so good.

    I talked with Patty Lewis today, owner of Downtown Grill in Oxford and my all-around queen of all things Southern. She has eaten comeback/kum-back/kum-bak sauce since she was a wee thing and serves it at her restaurant. She said it was the offspring of Thousand Island and remoulade. And, she confirmed that the Abners/Ajax/Guthries/Zaxbys house sauces are all in the comeback sauce family.

    She gave me a recipe for the sauce and it has everything from the recipe above but her’s includes 1/4 cup of ketchup.

    OK. Now I’m going to shut up 🙂

  7. ginnaparsons

    Carlie, you are one tenacious woman. Thanks for all your research. I’m going to make it a point, from now on, to ask for Comeback sauce in every restaurant I go to (even though I don’t intend to eat it). I’ll let you know how many have it (other than, as you say, the chicken strip places). And I think ketchup would be a good addition to Mark’s recipe.

  8. I can vouch for his sauce. It’s v. tasty. And unlike most comeback sauce varieties you’ll find in the metro area, his isn’t sweet, like Thousand Island, it’s spicy. The ketchup makes it sweet, and he leaves that out. His version is good on anything, fresh veggies, salad, meats. We had some this weekend, and let me just say, we were scraping the bowl.

    Nice blog, by the way. 🙂

  9. jerry2

    You can now buy comeback sauce at most of the local groceries in tupelo(I’ve seen it in Todds, Palmers, Kilgore’s). I just ran across it the other day. The brand is Thames Comeback Sauce and it top shelf and probably the best I’ve ever tasted. It’s actually made over in Oxford.

  10. ginna

    Thanks. I’ll have to give it a try.

  11. Jerry2,
    Thank you for your kind words. We are extremely proud of the response we’ve received to our family’s Comeback Sauce. We are constantly looking for new avenues to reach people who aren’t fortunate to be a car ride away from our “any occasion” sauce.
    We would be happy to send you, your family or your friends a bottle anytime. Mail Order is possible on our web site. Please visit us today!

    Wade Thames
    Thames Foods, Inc

  12. Josie

    Just learned about comeback sauce/dressing even though I have lived most of my childhood thru college life in Mississippi! A friend directed me to your site. I tried the recipe and I like it!

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