Fathers Day at my brother and sister-in-law’s home. They are two of the finest home cooks I know, keepers of the culinary flame for family holidays. Our dinner today of Italian sausage with onions and orange and red peppers was no exception, right down to the gorgeous fruit salad with cinnamon-yogurt topping we had for dessert.
The sausages were colorful, as you can see from the photo, and delicious, as you’ll have to take my word for. My assignment for this meal was cole slaw. Say what?
Cole slaw is one of those dishes we all say we don’t eat anymore, if we ever did. The victims of too many supermarket deli counters, we’ve learned to avoid it. So this was daunting. After all, being a food writer, people have “expectations.” While I do occasionally throw together a quick slaw at home (usually Asian style without mayo), I challenged myself to make a fairly classic slaw on this occasion, but one that people would actually enjoy.
The verdict? My slaw got raves, and we ate almost all of it, all the while saying, “I don’t usually like cole slaw this much.” Here’s what I did. At Wegmans, I purchased shredded cabbage because it looked nice and fresh compared to the limp whole cabbages. I also bought their Asian slaw mix, lighter in texture as it is made with Napa cabbage – I often throw a handful of Asian mix on my tacos, preferring it to watery iceberg lettuce. I also bought a bag each of shredded red cabbage and carrots. And a whole jicama, which I peeled and julienned at home, for crunch that can’t be beat. I used about half of all of this in my mix, for eight people.
For the dressing, I mixed (without measuring, so quantities are approximate) 3/4 cup light mayo with 1/2 cup low fat sour cream. I whisked it up with 3 tablespoons white vinegar until it looked nice and smooth, then stirred in about a tablespoon of celery seed and 2 teaspoons (at most) of celery salt, which I recently purchased on a whim – it smelled great so in it went. I tasted as I went along, and adjusted here and there.
I dressed the vegetables a couple of hours before dinner so the cabbage would be slightly “cooked” by the vinegar. Before serving I snipped some chives over the top. Can’t wait to make it again!
Food Writer Faith,
I loved your recipe for cole slaw, especially the use of celery seed – such an earthy flavor. I love slaw with just olive oil, vinegar, salt. In fact I can’t cook anything without olive oil, (and am still searching for an ice cream flavored,”extra virgin” with or without garlic.) Thanks for being so “au currant” with you and your family at table.