Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spicy Coleslaw ( and the trouble with regular slaw)

I don't understand why the dominant coleslaw is that gloppy, sugary, too sweet bogus stuff that comes in little Styrofoam containers with cheap plastic lids all across America.  At barbies and fish joints everywhere, you order some coleslaw, expecting it to taste good, and it's always the same: it tastes disgusting.  Why add all that sugar?  I just don't understand.  Coleslaw can be so good, and yet it's always so bad.  What is wrong with the slaw part of the American brain?  Did it get bopped on the head during a ruckus at the Boston Tea Party?  Who the heck knows.  On the other hand, this spicy, Carolina slaw is awesome.  And the poet, Matthew Zapruder agrees.  He told me so at a party. 

The first thing that the bad-brain slaw mentality people do wrong is this: they shred the cabbage and the carrots on a cheese grater.  Why?  Because it's easy.  It's the lazy thing to do.  Yes, it does take more time and effort to make a good slaw, but maybe it's time for a change.  Oh, and why the insistence on green cabbage only?  Why not use some other cabbages?  I've even heard wild rumors of Brussels Sprout slaw!

Right, I start by slicing some scallions (that's green onions, for all you wrong-headed sugar slaw heads) and I slice them on the bias (that's on an angle for all you sweet slaw sleaze bags) and then I steep them in some plain old white vinegar along with some chili flakes.  (Here, I used a dried chipotle that I ground by hand with my mortar and pestle.)  Once the flakes and the scallions have had time to party with the vinegar, I add some ketchup and some Vietnamese hot sauce, AKA, Sriracha, AKA Cock Sauce.  This will become the basis of your slaw dressing.  Meanwhile, you should have shredded your cabbage and your carrots.  I shredded the cabbage finely with my chef's knife, and I julienned the carrots on my Japanese mandolin.  Then I brought it all together in the biggest bowl I had.  Oh, and BTW, I made enough slaw for one hundred people, including Zapruder, that fire jumper.  

Oops!  Mayo!  Well, that's because I made three types, including the God Awful type, except I didn't dump a truck load of sugar into it.  Why?  Cause I'm not Ruined!

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