Saturday, May 14, 2011

Carolina Red Slaw (Cook's Country)...and off on a road trip all of next week!

Last weekend, my husband was craving Pulled Pork SandwichesThe timing for his request was perfect, because I had just received the June/July issue of Cook's Country Magazine. (This magazine/TV show is part of the Cook's Illustrated family.) 

Cook's Country
I bookmarked several of their recipes, as this is one of the best issues I've received in a long time!  I really enjoy reading each article that explains how the recipes was tested, what failed and what ultimately worked. I've never tasted Carolina Slaw before, and I was intrigued. The ingredients includes cider vinegar, a bit of red pepper flakes and ketchup-- I had all of the ingredients on hand.   I had just purchased a bag of finely shredded cabbage (one of my weekend shortcuts) because cole slaw is a perfect pairing with pulled pork.  My husband looked a bit disappointed that I was trying a new slaw recipe, because he's such a fan of my Creamy Cole Slaw

He's a good sport, though, so he went back to tending the 3-hour process of slow-grilling the pork. Meanwhile,  I busied myself in the kitchen making three new recipes, that would complete our dinner menu.  (A printable recipe card for the slaw is at the bottom of this post. The remaining two recipes are yet to be posted.)

I decided to let my food processor chop the cabbage into small bits--which is what the Cook's Country photograph looked like.  In hindsight, I wish I had a large head of cabbage. I would have cut it into wedges; using the shredding blade, a food processor is a lot easier than hand slicing. Your choice.  (The pre-shredded cabbage was almost too fine.)

 The dressing is very simple to make: Cider vinegar and red pepper flakes are microwaved, until the mixture is bubbling around edges, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Next, ketchup and 1 teaspoon salt is added into vinegar mixture until combined. Done!

I liked Cook's Country quick technique to draw moisture from the cabbage. Because cabbage releases a lot of water, they didn't want soggy or runny salad.  Instead of salting the cabbage to draw out the moisture-- which can take an hour-- a quick method is to toss cabbage, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl. The bowl is covered and microwaved until the cabbage is just beginning to wilt, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer cabbage mixture to colander set over bowl. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Press the cabbage to release excess moisture; discard liquid (it should measure about 1/3 cup). Toss the cabbage and dressing in clean large bowl until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Serve.

TASTING NOTES:   I really liked this slaw!  I cut the amount of red pepper flakes in half, because I have to be careful not to eat really spicy food.  The flavor had a mixture of sweet and sour, with a subtle hint of heat.  Best of all, I appreciated how easy this slaw is to make.  This salad is a lot less calorie-ridden than a more traditional cole slaw with a mayonnaise dressing. This is a good thing.  How did my husband like this? He did, though I suspect he still prefers the Creamy Cole Slaw. Our dinner guests LOVED this slaw, and they both asked for the recipe.  The next time I make this, I will shred a cabbage head and I won't chop it quite so fine. 

My husband and I are headed to the California Foothills of the Sierras, this Monday, to enjoy our timeshare. We're off for some much needed R&R and to catch up on our reading. Hopefully, I can access the internet so that I can catch up on my food blogroll.  I'm sure going to try!

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bellini said...

Enjoy your week off Debby. With your crazy work schedule a week of relaxation is in order. Get that camera out too and enjoy:D

Mary said...

I hope you enjoy your holiday. Sleep late, breathe deeply and enjoy life at a slower pace. Blessings...MAry

Joanne said...

I'm so intrigued by this slaw! I hate mayo and my family adores it, so that's what they always put on theirs. I should try to introduce this at the next bbq! Have fun on your trip Debby! I hope it's super relaxing!

Cheryl said...

My husband would love that slaw! I am so in love with that magazine, in fact of all the cooking mags I get it is my favorite!

Amanda- Eating in Winnipeg said...

It's my day for a blog hop, I'd love it if you came over and shared one of your great recipes at savory sunday!! Have a great day :)

Allie said...

Can you believe I've never had red slaw?! I like how the texture looks smooth. Definitely sounds like a great summer food to try. Again, enjoy your time with the hubby and get some relaxing in!

Mother Rimmy said...

This is a must make. I love that it doesn't use mayo. It makes it perfect for barbecues. Enjoy your trip!


Stacey Snacks said...

Enjoy your vacation!!

Rich said...

Really liked this slaw....I added a sprinkle of Cumin and 2 table spoons of red jalapeno Jelly to the warmed vinegar mix before i added the ketchup..Really liked it!!!

Mamun said...

Keep blogging away, it is a great outlet and at the very least will help you capture your food memories .