Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hot Slaw

The 2007 cookbook by the Lee Brothers on southern cooking does not offer much in comparison to Ms Edna but does have at least one recipe worth trying. It is for a “hot slaw” from a diner in Erlanger, Ky. Like all things good in this world it starts with bacon.

Four slices of thick cut bacon were cut into ½ inch chunks then crisped in a large skillet. The bacon was removed from the skillet which was then deglazed with ½ cup of white vinegar. The Lee brothers warn you about the mini-fireworks when the vinegar hits the grease but it only lasts a few seconds.

While the bacon was cooking I blanched a green shredded cabbage in water for ~8-10 minutes. The cabbage was then drained and lightly pressed to remove most of the water.

The blanched cabbage was added to the hot vinegar. The cabbage got several grinds of the pepper mill and two tablespoons of my homemade pepper garlic sauce (which is excellent by the way!).

After mixing/folding over medium high heat for a few minutes the bacon was added back to the slaw and the dish served hot from the skillet.

I thought the slaw looked and tasted fantastic. A nice break from the creamy mayo slaw you usually get. The combination of blanching plus cooking in vinegar gives it a hint of a sauerkraut flavor and the heat from the pepper sauce also comes with a surprising amount of sweetness. This is one of those dishes where your mouth is still tingling ten minutes after your last bite.

I’ve eaten this cold and hot and definitely prefer it hot. Something about steaming vinegar just gets me going. I have also tried this with a mix of green and red cabbage. Personally I prefer the looks of just green cabbage. The green lets the color of the black pepper and red pepper sauce really pop; they get muted behind the purple cabbage.

Okay…so I had a delay between making the slaw and posting. In the meantime I had one of those “Duh!” moments. I heated some leftover slaw and served with the 4th of July brisket. Wow! It’s a pretty obvious twist on the whole corned beef and cabbage thing so I can’t claim originality, but, “Duh!” a pretty good combination.

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