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Creamy Coleslaw

Here’s a big batch of my family’s favorite coleslaw. It’s not only crunchy, savory and spicy, but this colorful mix makes a truly vibrant presentation on a buffet table. Feel free to halve this for a smaller group. Although a food processor does the job of slicing and shredding in seconds, and is my preferred way to make coleslaw, you can also accomplish things by hand, with a sharp chef’s knife and box-style shredder. I also think using one’s hands is the best way to work the dressing into the vegetable mixture, so I suggest having a box of thin disposable plastic gloves on hand. By the way, coleslaw stays good in the fridge for several days, so don’t throw out any leftovers!

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Kitchen Management for more information.

Special Equipment

  • Food processor: optional but highly suggested
  • Disposable plastic gloves

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 rounded tablespoons whole celery seed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Good pinch of cayenne pepper or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce

For the Vegetables:

  • 1 small-medium head green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small knob celery root, peeled, quartered and shredded (leave out, if unavailable)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small red onion, shredded or sliced into very thin strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, shredded, chopped or sliced into very thin strips

1) To assemble coleslaw: Combine all of the dressing ingredients and pour over the vegetables, which should be in a large mixing bowl. Wearing disposable gloves, work the dressing into the coleslaw mixture, coating it evenly. (The vegetables should be well coated but not swimming in dressing. Store any left over dressing in the refrigerator, until later.) Refrigerate coleslaw (well covered) for at least 2 hours before serving.

2) To serve: Just before serving, toss vegetables with any additional reserved dressing, if needed, and adjust seasoning with additional salt and black pepper.

Timing is Everything:

  • You can prepare both the salad and dressing ingredients two days ahead and store them separately in the refrigerator. Dress the vegetable mixture up to 24 hours ahead of serving. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator, in a securely covered container, to enjoy for several more days.

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At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 rounded tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 rounded tablespoons whole celery seed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Good pinch of cayenne pepper or several dashes of your favorite hot sauce

For the Vegetables :

  • 1 small-medium head green cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small head purple cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small knob celery root, peeled, quartered and shredded (leave out, if unavailable)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small red onion, shredded or sliced into very thin strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, shredded, chopped or sliced into very thin strips

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Mayonnaise
  • White wine vinegar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Bottled hot sauce (only if not using cayenne pepper)

From the produce aisle :

  • Garlic
  • 1 medium head green cabbage
  • 1 medium head purple cabbage
  • 1 knob celery root (when in season)
  • 1 bunch fresh carrots
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper

From the dairy case :

  • Sour cream
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