Cattle and wheat are major agricultural products in Oklahoma, and both make it to the table regularly in the state. Grilled brisket, often with a sweet ketchup–brown sugar–apple cider sauce, is a popular way to feed a big group. Meatloaf is a dinnertime staple much the same as elsewhere in the U.S., but a sweet glaze is almost obligatory in Oklahoma.
Chili-like beef-based soups and stews are regular fare, often served with cornbread or in a hamburger bun to make a sort of sloppy Joe. A chili-like dip made from ground beef, spicy sausage, onion, processed cheese, and tomatoes is a popular party starter, served with corn chips. The "caviar" salad, made from black-eyed peas common across the South, has hominy or corn added along with peppers, tomatoes, and spices, and also serves as a dip with chips in Oklahoma. Black-eyed peas and beef in a creamy cheese sauce, layered with tortillas, is a popular winter casserole.
The state government saw fit to define a state menu that includes both barbecued pork and chicken fried steak, fried okra, squash, black-eyed peas, cornbread, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, and pecan pie. Watermelon is, inexplicably, the state vegetable, but it's also a favorite summertime snack and addition to fruit salads. Chicken-fried steak—steaks pounded thin, coated with a buttermilk breading and fried—is a favorite shared with neighboring Texas, and many of the state's side dishes definitely lean toward the South rather than middle America. Cucumbers or pickles coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried are a popular snack. Cornbread is particularly popular and accompanies everyday meals. For special occasions, it gets baked with sausage, onions, and herbs.
Candy bar pie, crushed chocolate bars mixed with a cream cheese filling in a graham cracker crust, is a popular summer dessert. Dirt cake, usually made with crushed chocolate cookies and pudding, is a popular quick dessert, especially with families. Mud cake is a slightly more refined confection. It's a rich chocolate cake with coconut and pecans that's baked in a flat pan, soaked with store-bought marshmallow fluff and frosted with a cocoa icing.
-World Trade Press