Friday, May 27, 2011

Coleslaw for People Who Don't Like Coleslaw

Last week I mentioned that I don’t like coleslaw because of the texture of raw cabbage.  And I can honestly say it’s not from lack of trying it.  Every time I come across it, whether at someone else’s house or at a restaurant, I try it, hoping I’ll like it.  Our dad makes the most amazing pulled pork and always serves it with coleslaw.  I take at lease one bite every time, but have yet to develop an affinity for it.

A few weeks ago, I had one of those light-bulb-coming-on moments, facilitated by my husband.  I had used some of that tilapia in my freezer to make fish tacos.  Rather than serving them with coleslaw, as is often done, I served them with sautéed cabbage and carrots.  I loaded corn tortillas with pan-fried tilapia, the cabbage and carrots, homemade tartar sauce, and hot sauce.  They were really good!  (Recipe to be posted at a later time.)

As Robbie was working on his second taco, he said it tasted like I had put coleslaw in it.  Serendipity!  I tossed some of the cabbage and carrots into a bowl, mixed in some tartar sauce, and voilà–coleslaw without raw cabbage!!

If you look up the Wikipedia article on coleslaw, you will read that the only constant is cabbage.  After that, the options are endless.  You can add different vegetables and use different dressings.  I made two different slaws that I will share here.  Feel free to alter them to suit your taste.  Like it tangier?  Add more vinegar.  Like it sweeter?  Add more sugar.  You can also use sour cream-or yogurt-based dressings.

Coleslaw for People Who Don’t Like Coleslaw
1 batch sautéed cabbage and carrots, refrigerated
1 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Place sautéed cabbage and carrots in medium mixing bowl; set aside.  In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Pour over cabbage and carrots; mix well.

Our Near to Nothing great grandmother made a very different kind of coleslaw.  Rather than a creamy dressing, hers has an oil and vinegar dressing.  While I personally would tweak the recipe to make it tangier and less sweet, I will give her original recipe here, substituting sautéed vegetables for fresh.

Great Grandma’s Coleslaw
1 batch sautéed cabbage and carrots, refrigerated
¾ c. sugar
½ c. olive or vegetable oil
½ c. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. celery seed, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place cabbage and carrots in medium mixing bowl; set aside.  In small saucepan, heat sugar, oil, vinegar, and celery seed to boiling.

Pour over cabbage.

Let stand at room temperature until cool.  Mix and chill.  Add salt and pepper as desired.

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