Ted’s parents live in Sequim, which means he can stop by Nash’s and pick up that late winter-early spring staple, cabbage. He makes it into coleslaw as a frequent contribution to the family dinners. I asked him to record his recipe, here it is!
Here’s Ted in his own words (can you tell he’s a fan of Nadia G’s Cooking Channel show Bitchin’ Kitchen?)
I recently discovered that cole slaw is stupidly simple to make and easily customizable to give it a personalized flavor or to complement other items on the menu. Herewith is my default recipe with guidance for those who haven’t done a lot of this sort of cooking. You can experiment with the spices and vinegar, or make your own mayonaise to exercise your creative flair.
OK, let’s do it.
This is based on the default recipe in Joy of Cooking (mayo, vinegar, sugar) with some additions. It makes a LOT of slaw (about 1/3 to 2/3 gallon by volume).
- 1 nice, fresh 6″ to 8″ head of green cabbage
- 3/4 Cup of mayonaise (use the good stuff)
- 1/4 Cup of rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp caraway seeds (whole seeds)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (you can use more, but be careful)
In a tiny bowl containing the vinegar, disolve the sugar and then mix the cumin in. In a somewhat larger bowl which already contains the mayo slowly add the vinegar and stir it in. Now add the caraway seeds and stir them in as well. If you try to get cute and dump the mayo into the vinegar because you don’t want to dirty up two bowls you’re gonna have to get out the stick blender to get the lumps out. Just sayin’.
Set this aside (possibly in the icebox) and attack the cabbage.
Cut the cabbage into quarters along its vertical axis. Cut out the heart (the stalk actually, plants don’t have hearts) from the inside corner of each quarter and give them all to me, I like to eat them. Slice the cabbage such that it is about the consistency of, well, cole slaw. I slice it into 1/8″ strips and then lay them out all nice and straight and cut the pile transversly into 1.5 inch-long pieces.
Shkiaffing it together:
With the mutilated cabbage in a big bowl add the goop about a quarter cup at a time and thoroughly mix with a big spoon and fork, sort of like the Swedish Chef, until the coating is even. Continue adding and mixing a quarter cup at a time until the desired level of gooping is achieved (see below). Don’t do this too long before you are planning to serve it and refrigerate it if there is a delay.
A note about quantities and proportions:
There’s a heck of a lot more cabbage in an 8″ head than there is in a 6″ head (you can do the math youself – hint: V = 4/3 * Pi * r^3). The goop you have made will easily coat about 2 liters (half a gallon) of chopped and fluffed cabbage, probably more. As I chop each quarter of the cabbage and plop it in the big bowl I assess how much total volume there is so far. There’s no shame in putting a quarter of a cabbage back in the icebox. That’s what fried rice is for using up.
On the other hand you want to go with kind of a light touch with the goop. Drowning that pitiful little handful of cabbage shavings with a cup of tangy pungent glop doth not a salad make. This is why I add the goop about a quarter cup at a time and make sure it’s completely and evenly mixed with the cabbage and then assess if there’s enough goop. It’s easy to over-goop it. Taste as you go — if you have a nice flavorful cabbage you should still be able to taste it. If you have extra goop left over then no worries — it holds up pretty well in the ice box.