Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cole Slaw

I invited a couple of people over for 4th of July, then realized I should get a barbecue grill.  Once I got the grill, I realized I should have invited more people.  At some point, it became more complicated than just a couple of burgers, fruit salad, and s'mores for dessert.  There had to be pre-meal snacks, so I did bleu cheese mousse and white-bean hummus with celery sticks and pumpernickel bread as the dippers.  Some vegetarians RSVP'd, so I made up more of the kale salad, but with oven-dried tomatoes instead of roasted peppers.  Everyone at work loved the double-chocolate cake, and I had patriotic cupcake liners, so I baked a batch of those.  And of course, what is the 4th of July without cole slaw.

I did get a touch creative.  While I've made the Bible's "deluxe" cole slaw before, and it's good, I wanted to have more fun in the veggie department.  Besides, the mandoline was going to be out to shred the cabbage, so it wouldn't take much more time to slice up other things. (PS: if you use a mandoline for nothing else than to make cole slaw, it has earned its keep.  The slices of tomatoes and onions for the burgers came out beautiful, too.)  The dressing is pretty much the same as the one in the cookbook, except I used fake mayo.  Most of the calories and fat in cole slaw are from the mayo, so this was probably lighter than if I had served a tossed salad with regular dressing.

There are two schools of thought about how to prepare cole slaw.  One says to wait until an hour before serving to toss in the dressing, so everything stays crisp.  Growing up, the cole slaw I had most frequently was KFC's, so I prefer limp, watery, sweet, and finely chopped slaw.  Therefore, I opted to make it the day before.  Besides, it saves you time on the day if all you have to do is re-toss it before serving.

And yes, that is a rather small hamburger patty.  I have to work on my timing with the grill.  Fortunately, I like somewhat overcooked burgers.  Crispy.

1/2 C mayonnaise
2 Tb milk
1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
1 small head of cabbage
1 fennel bulb
1 carrot
1/4 C minced red onion

1.  Whisk together first seven ingredients to make the dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2.  Cut head of cabbage in quarters, leaving the stem end intact to hold onto.  Cut into thin strips, working your way down each quarter until there's more stem than leaves.  Discard tough stems and put the shreds in a large bowl.

3.  Cut off base of fennel bulb and slice thinly into celery-like slices, stopping when you reach the branches.  Add strips to bowl.  With a vegetable peeler, first peel carrot and discard skin, then continue pulling off strips of carrot, which then go into the bowl.  Add the minced red onion and toss all vegetables together.

4.  Pour dressing over veggies.  Toss to distribute dressing evenly.  Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Toss again before serving to redistribute any dressing which may have pooled at bottom.

Serves 8-10

Difficulty rating π


  1. I put salad cream in my coleslaw. Shall defiantly be trying this recipe if the weather here ever gets sunny enough for a BBQ. :)

    1. There are a couple of brands of cole slaw dressing you can get in a bottle, but then they aren't much good for anything else if you have some left.


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