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Traditional Coleslaw Recipe Times Three

I think good coleslaw is an integral part of Americana.  Cabbage, the regular green heads that are always found in our grocery stores, were growing throughout Europe hundreds of years before the US was even settled.  The Dutch have been using cabbage extensively in their national dishes, and are said to be the originators of coleslaw.  Coleslaw has been adopted all across the US, especially in the South; no barbecue would be complete without it.  Nor can I imagine a pulled pork barbecue sandwich in Memphis (or at my house) without good coleslaw as the condiment inside the bun.

I’m sure you know that there is good coleslaw and there is bad coleslaw.  I have had some pretty bad coleslaw at several popular chain restaurants, but I have had really good coleslaw at KFC.   Of course, we all have different ideas about what makes good coleslaw; some like lots of onion, others like it more savory than sweet, and still others like it dripping with a simple sauce of plain mayonnaise. 

Coleslaw is very quick to make, it’s easy too, and if you utilize the coleslaw mix that is now found in every grocery store, you don’t even have to shred the cabbage.   The three recipes that follow are all traditional coleslaws, and are favorites of my family and catering clients.  Once you try them, let me know which is your favorite. 

Janet’s Coleslaw

This excellent coleslaw recipe is from my friend Janet, who used to live in my neighborhood. She brought me a bowl as part of dinner when I had my last baby 19 years ago.  I have been serving this traditional coleslaw ever since to rave reviews.

12  Servings
””
1 head cabbage
2 medium carrots
    
Dressing:       
1/2 cup sugar
1   teaspoon dry mustard
1   teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3   tablespoons finely chopped onions
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, (optional)
 
Finely grate the cabbage and carrots and place in a large bowl.  Or substitute a 1 pound package of coleslaw mix.
 
Place the sugar, mustard, salt, vinegar and onion in a blender container and process on high until well mixed.  Add the oil slowly with the motor running until thickened and the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the celery seed if using.  Pour over the cabbage mixture and stir.  Let sit at least one hour or up to overnight.
 
Creamy Coleslaw
””
This is another traditional coleslaw that is quick to make, has a great sweet and sour taste, and is actually a hybrid of Janet’s coleslaw, due to a request for a creamier dressing.   
 
12  Servings
 
1  head cabbage
2  medium carrots

    Dressing:       
1/2 cup sugar
1   teaspoon dry mustard
1   teaspoon salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3   tablespoons finely chopped onions
3   tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
           
Finely grate the cabbage and carrots and place in a large bowl, or substitute a 1 pound package of coleslaw mix.
 
Place the sugar, mustard, salt, vinegar and onion in a blender container and process on high until well mixed.  Add the oil and mayonnaise and process until mixed.  Pour over the cabbage mixture and stir.  Let sit at least one hour or overnight.

KFC Style Coleslaw
””
KFC doesn’t give out their recipes, but several copycat recipes are to be found on the internet and in community cookbooks.  Since I love KFC coleslaw, I tried this, adjusted a few ingredients, and serve it often at barbecues.  I must admit, this is pretty close to the real thing, but takes less time to whip together than to drive to KFC and order it at the drive through. 

12  Servings
  
1  pound coleslaw mix
           
            Dressing
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2   tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
      
Place the coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
 
Place the dressing ingredients in a blender container; cover and blend until smooth.  Toss the dressing with the coleslaw mix.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
 
 
 

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