Two things, and then the recipe for the best basic coleslaw you’ve ever had.
First, we went to Hello Sushi tonight. You may recall that I became a bit cranky on my last visit. Tonight, however, was delightful. Just like last time we were coming off a day working at my aunt’s house, but this time I was with my aunt, Linda, instead of my cousin, and this time we’d changed clothes and cleaned up a bit. We had futo maki and Alaskan soup to begin with. The Alaskan soup was a fishy broth with crab and fluffy cooked egg floating around. Next we had one of the specials, mushrooms stuffed with spicy tuna and deep fried. This one had a lot of flavor and texture going on: salty, umami, creamy, chewy, and then little teeny pops from the roe that was sprinkled on top. To finish Linda ordered a spider roll and I ordered a yellowtail nigiri, both also awesome of course, and she had ginger ice cream (ick) for dessert.
And I didn’t take a single picture. Yeah, I bet reading all that was real exciting. Apparently food writing needs pictures.
Second, the nice people at POM (who sent me POM juice a month or two ago that I haven’t gotten around to cooking with yet) sent me 3 flavors of their new product, in which pomegranate juice is spat into iced coffee. First, the bad. The chocolate flavor was not pleasant. You’d think it had promise, being pomegranate juice and coffee and chocolate (insert Homer drool sound here). But rather than meld into a greater whole, the pomegranate, chocolate, and coffee just all vied for attention in strange ways. Café au lait was more pleasant (“You can’t taste the pomegranate,” Linda said, which I think means along the lines of, “It didn’t overwhelm this drink like it did in the chocolate one”), and the vanilla flavor won the taste test, reminding Linda a bit of egg nog of all things, and I liked it as well. The nice thing is the POM people seem to have been ingredient conscious, using “rainforest-friendly” coffee beans, organic sugar, and so forth.
We slammed them down as caffeine boosts for house painting sessions.
Finally, the coleslaw
I just pulled the last cabbages out of the garden 3 days ago. Everyone else has meticulously cleaned out their gardens months ago and rototilled them into perfect, uniform rectangles. Mine, on the other hand, is covered in garden debris, kitchen scraps, eggshells, and corn dust (from the corn dryer; no, I don’t have time to explain). Oh, and there are still leeks, rosemary, and parsley in there. I shook the snow off the parsley and it immediately looked a bit happier.
It’s not the traditional time for coleslaw, but it’s still a fabulous side for a hot sandwich like grilled cheese. Try this recipe. It’s your straightforward, straight-up coleslaw, exactly what you’re thinking of when thinking of taking coleslaw to potlucks or picnics.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 pound cabbage, shredded – green, red, or a mix
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk, or 2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1-1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a large bowl, mix together the shredded cabbage and minced onion.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. If you’re using buttermilk powder (I always do), there’s no need to reconstitute it — that just waters down the dressing, which will happen naturally a bit anyway as the moisture from the cabbage leaches into the dressing.
You see in my image how “thick” the dressing made with buttermilk powder looks at first. This is a mistake — I shot the photo before adding the vinegar and lemon juice. Your dressing will not look that pasty!
Stir dressing into the cabbage and onion mixture. Chill before serving until flavors meld, at least an hour.