~ Southwestern-Style Honey, Lime & Jalapeno Slaw~
Coleslaw, one word, or, cole slaw, two words. It's a humble side-dish. It doesn't pretend to be flashy. It just sits in its bowl, patiently waiting for someone to take a scoop. What's sad is the quotes and jokes that get made about coleslaw, which, in my opinion are 100% unwarranted. When it's properly prepared, and correctly paired with the right entree, it is the master of crunchy cabbage goodness. It amps up the volume, of many meals, from ordinary to extraordinary.
A bit about coleslaw: The words "cole" "slaw" come from the Dutch word "koolsla", meaning: "cold" "salad". Coleslaw is a salad of shredded green or red cabbage that gets mixed with other vegetables (onion, carrot and bell pepper being most common) then seasoned and tossed with a tangy mayonnaise-, buttermilk-, sour cream-based dressing, or a vinaigrette. All versions contain some sort of acid, usually vinegar or citrus juice, and salt, which wilts the cabbage as it marinates.
Coleslaw is neither bland nor soggy, it is bright and crisp!
The key to great coleslaw is to make sure the vegetables are "dry", meaning: dry of as much moisture as possible before adding the dressing. My grandmother taught me to shred my cabbage, chop my vegetables, then, wrap them individually in a kitchen towel and refrigerate them overnight prior to mixing the slaw. The day I started using the store-bought, pre-washed, dried and shredded slaw mix, instead of shredding a head of cabbage, I never looked back. If my grandmother had this available she would have used it too!
Many popular versions amp up the flavor with pickles or pickle relish, prepared or dry mustard, Tobasco-type pepper sauces and/or seasonal, fresh herbs. It is safe to say there are as many versions as there are cooks and cuisines. One of my local favorites, a Pennsylvania Deutsch version, features shredded fennel, apples and bacon tossed with a sweet and sour dressing.
This super-easy, sweet, savory & slightly-spicy Southwestern-style slaw...
... made with honey, lime juice and jalapenos, complements all sorts of Tex-Mex fare. For example: My recipe for ~ Beer-Batter-Dipped, Deep-Fried, Cod-Fish tacos ~ (pictured above), and, my ~ Mexican-Style Baha Grill-Pan Chicken Quesadillas ~ (pictured at the end of this post). It makes a sassy side-dish for many barbecued, smoked or grilled beef or pork dishes too.
Super easy: 7 ingredients, 5 minutes of prep, 1 bowl & 1 step!
8 cups store-bought coleslaw mix, green cabbage w/matchstick carrots (14 ounces)
1 1/2 cups each: thinly-sliced green onions, white and light green part, and, minced cilantro
4 tablespoons finely-diced jalapeno pepper, 2 tablespoons after removing seeds and ribs
4 tablespoons each: fresh lime juice and honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
~Step 1. In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey and salt. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the onions, cilantro and jalapenos. Fold in the slaw mix. When mixture is thoroughly combined, refrigerate 4-6 hours, or overnight, stopping to stir every now and then, until serving chilled.
Great slaw isn't flashy -- just a jazzy way to amp up an entree!
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; large rubber spatula
Cook's Note: My recipe for ~ Mexican Pico de Gallo (Salsa Freesca/Fresh Salsa) ~ is another one of my super-easy, all-time favorite Tex-Mex condiment/side-dishes, and, more often than not, I serve it alongside this slaw. You can find the recipe in Categories 4, 8, 10, 13, 14, 17 or 20.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)