Iím often asked where I get my ideas for the recipes that I publish and teach in my classes. There are the usual sources: newspaper articles, magazines, and cookbooks. Iím an avid reader, and get ideas from novels Iím reading or at restaurants. Also, I try new dishes at friendís houses, family dinners, and church or community gatherings. There are times, however, that my ideas come from very unexpected sources.
As you are probably aware, airplane food has a very bad reputation; unfortunately a well deserved bad reputation! To be honest, I cannot even count the number of disgusting and vile dishes that I have had to serve (with a smile) to passengers. I have handed out soggy sandwiches, dry sandwiches, overcooked pasta with all kinds of abominable toppings, steaks with a weird texture, powdered eggs, runny omelets, and greasy sausages; no doubt you have been the recipient of one of these infamous meals.
I worked a flight to Orlando recently where I served a sandwich that came with a very simple looking coleslaw. The shredded cabbage was crisp and fresh and had chives and julienne carrots along with golden raisins. The dressing wasnít your usual creamy coleslaw dressing (which isnít a bad thingóI have just published three delicious coleslaws with traditional dressings on this site); rather it was an unconventional, yet flavorful vinaigrette that complemented the rest of the ingredients. This is my version of that coleslaw; surprise inspiration from airline caterers!
You may certainly substitute the coleslaw mix found on your grocerís shelves if you donít want to go to the trouble of shredding the cabbages or if you are in a big hurry; however, I like a little more of the red cabbage and julienne carrots for color. Because of the vinaigrette, this is a lower calorie version of coleslaw than most traditional creamy recipes, but it has all of the healthy vitamins, fiber, and flavor. I hope you like the combination as much as I do.
Coleslaw with Dijon Vinaigrette
1 head green cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
2 carrots, cut in fine julienne
1/4 cup coarsely snipped chives
1 cup golden raisins
1 batch Dijon Vinaigrette
Shred the cabbages and place in a large bowl with the carrots, chives, and golden raisins. Toss with enough of the dressing to moisten. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to blend.
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
Mix all ingredients except celery seeds in blender; blend until smooth. Add the celery seed, pulse a few times.