Following my post about the oh-so-good carnitas last week, I had a couple of requests for my cole slaw recipe. I originally didn’t measure out my ingredients, but during my semi-monthly grocery store binge, I decided to pick up the ingredients I needed and made it again… and measured my dressing! Hooray!
Here’s the thing about cole slaw – you either love it or you hate it. And I think a lot of people unfairly hate it because their experience with cole slaw is with something that’s watery and bland, and way too gloppy. Not to mention, “slaw” really isn’t the most appetizing word. Like George Carlin’s unwillingness to eat anything that has a “y” and a “g” in its name (yohhhguurt), I’m sure “slaw” just sounds totally unappetizing to many people out there. But, as Colin so aptly put it when I handed him his plate the other night, “You should call this entry, ‘Hey, people! You know you can eat cole slaw that isn’t terrible?'”
I think a big part of cole slaw’s problem is that it’s soppy and soggy – like someone took a bunch of shredded receipts and plunked them in a watery mayonnaise bath for about three days before plopping them on your plate. Yick. This can be prevented by making sure your cabbage and vegetables of choice are TOTALLY dry before mixing in your dressing, and by not adding your dressing too far in advance of when you’re actually going to serve your cole slaw. I know this isn’t always feasible, especially if you’re bringing a container of cole slaw to a potluck – but the less time your slaw is marinating in dressing, the better. I also like to make my cabbage and vegetables a little bit thicker than a bag of pre-packaged, shredded cole slaw mix would be – I have no idea if this contributes to its lasting crisp-ness, but I just like the texture a bit more. Texture is a big deal for a lot of people when it comes to food. I also think the cider vinegar gives the dressing a nice bite, but I’m hardly alone in that belief. For an infinitely more scientific take on making the perfect bowl o’ cole slaw, check out this post from the Serious Eats food lab. This person got into salting and all sorts of stuff that I’m too impatient for.
Bright, crunchy cole slaw
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
3 carrots, peeled and diced
about 1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 tsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
For the vegetables – prepare as described in the recipe and pat dry. Toss in a large bowl.
For the dressing – mix mayonnaise, cider vinegar, salt and pepper together until emulsified. Pour dressing over your vegetables and toss to coat before serving.
Yes, seriously. That’s it.