Spicy Coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe didn’t accompany the Pulled Pork Sliders recipe.  But I can never have a pulled anything sandwich without coleslaw.  It’s just not right.  I have to have that crunchy texture contrasting with the almost creaminess of the barbecue slathered meat.  Plus, it makes me feel less guilty because coleslaw is full of vegetables.

As a child, I vehemently put cabbage on the “Not Touching That with a Ten Foot Pole” list.  I thought cabbage was bitter and bland.  It’s now one of my favorite vegetables.  I love it raw and crunchy in a slaw or salad, and I also love it wilted and cooked.  So coleslaw and I have become very good friends in recent years.

We liked this particular version so much that I decided to serve it alongside the barbecue chicken we made for my sister and brother-in-law on their visit.  My sister gave it the highest compliment possible when she said, “Observe: I hate coleslaw, and I’m going back for seconds” as she piled another mound of it onto her plate.  Of course that made me very happy, but it also illustrates just how much bad coleslaw exists out there.  Megan is not a terribly picky eater, and she has always been a good veggie eater, even as a child.  (Yes, she made me look really bad growing up!)  When most of us think of coleslaw we think of the terrible stuff served in a paper cup at cheap restaurants.  It is always so bland and watery, except for the times when it’s salty and gloppy.  I don’t touch it either.  But I’ve come to appreciate making coleslaw at home.  It’s not very involved, you probably already have the dressing ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator, and it will not even compare to the awful paper cup stuff that you could barely even call food.

You can slice your cabbage with a knife, but I’ve found that a mandoline makes for the best results.  It’s thin and extra crunchy that way.  And mandolines aren’t terribly expensive anymore.  You can pick up a hand-held at any kitchen supply store for not much money at all.

Source: slightly adapted from Eat This Book, by Tyler Florence

1 head of green cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 green onions, chopped
1 fresh red chile, sliced
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tbs cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp celery seed
Several dashes of hot sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, and chile in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar and stir to combine. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss gently to mix. Season the coleslaw with celery seed, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Ideally chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving, but I didn’t do this either time I served it and it was fine.

Yield: 8 to 10 cups

4 responses to “Spicy Coleslaw

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