Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fried Dill Pickles and the OK Cafe

While visiting Altanta in the early 1990's I was introduced to Fried Dill Pickles at the OK Cafe. The OK Cafe is a family owned diner that serves southern specialties with a twist of soul. The fried dill pickle chips and the restaurant became favorites of ours instantly. No trip to Atlanta was complete without a visit to the OK Cafe on West Paces Ferry. Recently, the cafe was a victim of a fire in the take-away section, and has been closed for repairs. It is scheduled to reopen this summer. Everyone in Atlanta is celebrating. Other favorites on the menu include meat loaf, chicken pot pie, country fried steak, and the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich ever. All vegetables are fresh and prepared daily according to availability.
The pickles at the OK Cafe are served with a ranch dressing, but I prefer a concoction known as Comeback sauce. It is a dipping sauce, somewhere between Remoulade and Thousand Island dressing. 

Fried Dill Pickles

1 jar dill pickle slices
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeall
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 cup buttermilk
Peanut oil for frying 
Comeback Sauce for dipping

Pour peanut oil into a skillet about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Heat to Medium High. Drain the pickles on paper towels, and prepare the coating.

Place corn meal in a small bowl, and add 1/2 of the flour and seasoned salt. Stir until combined. In a separate bowl or plate place remaining flour and pour buttermilk into a third bowl.

Dip pickle slices into buttermilk, then flour, then buttermilk again. Finally dip into the cornmeal - Place pickles on a paper towel lined cookie sheet or tray during this process. By all means, use your hands and dip the slices one at a time. 

Place pickle slices into hot oil and cook until browned. You may need to stir and flip once during the frying. The frying process should be between 5 and 10 minutes. 
Remove from skillet and drain on another paper towel lined tray or cookie sheet. Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

Comeback Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup mayonnaise - Duke's preferably
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Gulden's mustard
cracked black pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and whisk briskly until well mixed, or process in a blender. Store in refrigerator. 

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