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Mississippi Comeback

Created by:

Lorie Roach — Buckatunna, MS

Everyone loves a good comeback story. Especially when the end result is an extremely tasty sandwich. That’s exactly the case with the Mississippi Comeback — a delicious grilled cheese featuring the southern signature comeback sauce. Along with the sauce, this sandwich has fried okra, a corn and bacon confetti and sweet roasted tomatoes, all held together with Wisconsin fontina and cheddar cheese.

COOKING DIRECTIONS

For comeback sauce: Whisk all sauce ingredients in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed.

For bacon and corn confetti: Heat grill pan to high. Brush corn with oil and cook until golden brown with grill marks, rotating on all sides; set aside to cool. When cool, cut corn off cobs and set aside. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until done. Add red and green bell peppers and onion and cook until transparent and soft, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in corn and fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For roasted tomatoes: Heat oven to 400°F. Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Skins will appear wrinkled when done. Set aside.

For fried okra: Place okra in medium bowl and add buttermilk; gently stir to coat. In another bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, garlic and onion powder and salt. Drain okra slices and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Pour oil to a depth of about 1/4 inch into large cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add okra and fry until crispy and golden, about 3-4 minutes, stirring once. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Cook okra in batches, being careful not to overcrowd pan and adding extra oil as needed.

For sandwich assembly: Carefully pinch out the soft bread in the center of each slice to about 1/2-inch deep, leaving the sides and bottom intact, creating a well. (This will help the filling ingredients to stay inside the sandwich.)

Heat a cast iron griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Spread the flat side of each piece of bread liberally with the sauce, then place 2 slices on the hot griddle sauce side down. Spread more sauce in the well of each slice, then place 2 slices of fontina on one bread slice and 2 slices of cheddar on the other bread slice, gently pushing cheese into the well. Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the fried okra on top of the cheddar cheese (whatever will fit), and add 1/3 to 1/2 of the tomatoes and 1/3 to 1/2 of the corn to the other side, gently pressing down into the bread. Carefully place the okra slice on top of the other slice, okra side in. (If pieces fall out, just push them back in.) Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and melted over low-medium heat. Repeat with remaining sandwich.

Cut each sandwich in half to serve. Pile any remaining vegetables around the sandwich for presentation. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.

Recipe Tips: Cook the sandwich slowly on low-medium heat, so the inside gets melted and hot before the outside gets too brown.

Make sure the cheese is at room temperature for faster melting. Store sauce in the fridge, but let stand at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes to take the chill off.

Pinching out part of the bread creates a well so that the ingredients don’t fall out of the sandwich as easy.

INGREDIENTS

2

For Comeback Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For Bacon and Corn Confetti:

  • 2 medium ears corn, shucked and cleaned
  • Vegetable oil (for brushing corn)
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Roasted Tomatoes:

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Fried Okra:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen okra, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For Sandwich Assembly:

  • 4 large slices sour dough bread, cut at least 1-inch thick
  • 4 slices (1 ounce each) Wisconsin Fontina cheese
  • 4 slices (1 ounce each) Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
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