Ronnie asked Lauren:
My husband loves a good Old-fashioned creamy-type of coleslaw and I would love to have a great recipe that I could make and surprise him. Hoping you could help.
My husband, like yours, adores coleslaw and would eat it every day if he could. (Maybe all husbands love coleslaw??) Though there are many variations and options when making coleslaw, the most traditional (and beloved) kind is, in it’s simplest form, made with thinly sliced green cabbage, shredded carrots and green bell pepper, white onion and dressed with a slightly sweetened (remove the word sour) cream-based dressing, flavored with whole celery seeds. I like to add extra body to the consistency by using mayonnaise instead of cream, and heighten the color contrast by using a mix of purple and green cabbage, shredded celery root (when in season) and shredded red onion, instead of white. And, to give the flavor some real spunk, I add both, hot sauce and minced fresh garlic.
If you’d like to make a less caloric version of coleslaw, you can totally omit anything “creamy.” Vegetable oil, sugar, cider vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper are all that’s needed to create a wonderful dressing. Use equal amounts of sugar and vinegar, as a starting point. Then, if too sweet, add some more vinegar or, if too tangy, add a bit more sugar. To make this type of coleslaw even more savory, you can fry up some bacon and, when crisp, remove it from the pan (use it for something else) and pour out all the rendered fat, leaving any caramelized bacon residue on the bottom of the skillet. Then, heat the oil for your dressing and, when just hot, but not close to smoking, whisk in the vinegar and sugar, and continue to stir until the sugar is dissolved. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper, whole celery seeds (and even some dry mustard) to taste, and then either pour this over the coleslaw mixture or add the shredded vegetables directly to the pan (you’ll need more of a deep saucepan, if planning to do this) and then turn off the heat. Use tongs to help coat the vegetables with the hot dressing. Serve warm or allow the vegetables to come to room temperature.
If making a creamy type of coleslaw and planning to have an outdoor summer picnic, be aware that these types of salads are perishable and are heat sensitive. So, make sure to tote the tub of coleslaw in a cooler and keep it there until you plan to serve. Keep any extras in the cooler for people to help themselves.
For all types of coleslaw, the food processor is a fabulous aid, creating thin slices and shreds in just seconds. So, here’s my rendition of a Creamy Coleslaw that’s very much enjoyed by my family and friends. I hope you’ll try it and let me know how you all like it!