By Kelsey Casselbury 2017-09-05 07:06:26
If we asked you how many times you ate a good slaw this summer, how many fingers would you need? Just a couple, probably. What about if we asked about the number of times you sampled a bad slaw? If you need a full hand or more, we feel your pain. A bad slaw can be gloppy, soggy, way too sweet or, worse, totally bland. A good slaw, on the other hand, is a little bite of perfection—crunchy, crisp, tangy and slightly sweet. It’s a backyard barbecue staple, with its zest cutting through the richness of spare ribs and its creaminess contrasting with crunchy fried chicken. One could assert that it’s an all-American side dish. Hmm, not so fast. The word “coleslaw” is rooted in the Dutch language, coming from koolsla, which means cabbage salad. Experts can trace one of these “cabbage salad” recipes back to a 1770 cookbook, The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World, which contained a recipe made of melted butter, vinegar, oil and, of course, cabbage. Around the mid-18th century, folks started making the dish with mayonnaise, which is the version with which most of us are familiar. Slaw is however, certainly not a one-trick pony, as 200+ years of global variations show. DIGGING IN Most of us might think of coleslaw as the perfect complement for a bevy of classically American dishes, whether it’s topping a pulled pork sandwich, set alongside a grilled burger or paired with fried chicken. Therefore, you might be surprised to learn that a number of countries have their own slaw incarnations, including Poland (Surówka z białej kapusty), Italy (insalata capricciosa) and Sweden (known as pizzasallad, because it’s commonly served with pizza). There’s kimchi, a Korean staple, which is typically made from fermented Napa cabbage and Korean radishes, and Thai green papaya salad, which replaces the cabbage with shredded papayas, but is prepared in the same chilled, fresh spirit. But let’s get back to the homeland. Even within the United States, there’s more than one type of coleslaw, and these are generally distinguished by the dressing. Beyond classic coleslaw (typically made with buttermilk, mayo, cider vinegar and a little sugar and salt), there are three traditional types of coleslaw dressings: » Vinegar Slaw. This tangy slaw omits mayonnaise entirely in favor of a mixture of cider vinegar and sugar, along with olive oil and, often, celery seeds. Depending on your recipe, the vinegar might be white, white wine or red wine instead of cider. Be careful about pre-making a vinegar-based coleslaw; while all slaws are at risk of getting soggy, the acidic vinegar breaks down the vegetables much more quickly than other dressings. » Red Slaw. The name doesn’t mean that the coleslaw is made with red cabbage; rather, it refers to the color of the sauce. The variation hails from Lexington, N.C., and mimics barbecue sauce by replacing mayonnaise with ketchup. It also contains apple cider vinegar, sugar and a teeny touch of hot sauce (or a lot of hot sauce, depending on your spice tolerance). It’s served not only on top of North Carolina-style barbecue dishes, but also on hot dogs. » Mustard Slaw. Just as North Carolina has a regional slaw variation, so does Tennessee—specifically, Memphis-style coleslaw. This version has mayonnaise, but also a healthy dollop of mustard—and, on occasion, a dash of hot sauce—to give it an extra bite. If you’re not a fan of super-sweet coleslaws, this is probably the recipe for you. You’ll see other versions on menus here and there. For example, it’s a healthy trend to skip the mayo in favor of a “light” sour cream or Greek yogurt in the dressing to make it a (slightly) more nutritious dish. Even greater experimentation can take over. If an ingredient mix sounds like it might make a good sauce for a piece of chicken or a tasty dressing for a salad, chances are the same combo will work on a slaw, too. Some saucy slaw options you might consider: » Buffalo. Mayonnaise, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder » Coconut-Lime. Coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, lemongrass » Blue Cheese. Sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, blue cheese crumbles » Honey Mustard. Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic » Thai. Peanut butter, rice vinegar, lime, ginger, soy sauce CABBAGE AND BEYOND Of course, the dressing is just one component of a good slaw. What’s underneath that dressing? Even if you use “slaw” and “coleslaw” interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two. The “cole” comes from the Latin word, colis, which means cabbage. Therefore, coleslaws all contain some form of shredded cabbage, while other slaws can be based around other types of shredded vegetables or, less commonly, fruit. In traditional coleslaw, it’s most common to see green cabbage, as it’s the cheapest option. It features a delicate flavor with a good, but not overwhelming, crunch. It might not be the best vegetable when it’s cooked—that odor gets pretty, well, odoriferous when heat is applied—but, when raw, it’s pleasant and neutral. Red cabbage, on the other hand, is a bit more toothsome and flavorful. Some might prefer this, others, not so much. One perk, though, of the red cabbage: It has more than 10 times the vitamin A content and twice the amount of iron as green cabbage. Savoy cabbage isn’t as frequently seen in American-style coleslaw, but it regularly appears in slaw-like kimchi. The same goes for Napa cabbage, which is also known as Chinese cabbage. There’s no reason to pick just one type of cabbage for your slaw, though—feel free to mix them together so you have a blend of flavors and textures. Of course, you don’t have to use cabbage at all. Slaw, without the cole is an option, and any vegetable that can be shredded is up for grabs. Broccoli slaw is easy, as it’s often found already shredded and packaged available in retail or for foodservice. Some other vegetables you can shred and turn into a flavorful slaw include: » Brussels Sprouts. Add garlic and lemon » Carrots. Add cilantro and jalapeno » Celery. Add apples and fennel » Collard Greens. Add raisins and apples » Green Beans. Add red onions and radishes CATERING TO THE KIDDOS The creative license you can take when coming up with new coleslaw recipes is limited only to what you think students will enjoy the most. For elementary schoolers, SN’s Kitchen Wisdom Panel recommends sticking to non-spicy slaw varieties, perhaps adding a little bit of fruit (like apples) for a hint of sweetness. Older students, though, just might go crazy over a coleslaw with a kick. Now that school is back in session, ask the students who go through the line if they enjoyed any slaws this summer—you might get some creative answers! Make this traditional side dish with mayo, mustard or vinegar—just don’t let it get soggy! Poppy Seed, Pear and Cabbage Slaw 3 lbs. Green cabbage, finely shredded 6 ozs. Red cabbage, finely shredded 18 ozs. Bosc pears, thinly sliced or julienned 1⁄2 cup Mayonnaise, lowfat 1⁄2 cup Cider vinegar 4 Tbsps. Granulated sugar 2 tsps. Poppy seeds 1 tsp. Salt 1⁄2 tsp. Onion powder 1) Combine the green and red cabbage with the pears in a large bowl. 2) To prepare the dressing: Whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, salt and onion powder. 3) Pour the dressing over top of the cabbage mixture and gently stir until the ingredients are well-coated and combined. 4) Refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. 5) Using a #8 disher, portion out 1⁄2 cup servings. Recipe, Photo and Nutritional Analysis: USA Pear Bureau Northwest, foodservice.usapears.org SERVES 24 (1⁄2 cup) PER SERVING 49 cal., 2 g fat, 1 g pro., 9 g carb., 2 g fiber, 146 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1⁄4 cup other vegetable Veggie-Apple Slaw 1⁄2 cup Mayonnaise, olive oil, reduced-fat 1⁄2 cup Ranch dressing 14 ozs. Cabbage, shredded 1 1⁄2 lbs. Apples, thinly sliced 1 1⁄4 lbs. Zucchini, julienned 5 ozs. Carrots, shredded 5 ozs. Dried cranberries 1) Combine the mayonnaise and ranch dressing in a large bowl. 2) Add the cabbage, apples, zucchini, carrots and cranberries. Toss well to coat. 3) Refrigerate the mixture for up to 24 hours before serving. 4) Using a #8 disher, serve half-cup portions. *Notes: Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced-Fat Mayonnaise and Kraft Ranch Dressing can be used in this recipe. Recipe, Photo and Nutritional Analysis: Kraft Heinz Foodservice, www.kraftheinz-foodservice.com Meal Pattern Analysis: Chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS, www.evolutionofthelunchlady.com, powered by Meals Plus SERVES 24 (1/2 cup) PER SERVING 80 cal., 3.5 g fat, 1 g pro., 12 g carb., 2 g fiber, 90 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1⁄4 cup fruit, 1⁄4 cup other vegetable Kitchen Wisdom • The ranch dressing is very popular with the students. • I made the recipe as written and I think it turned out great. Normally, I would not use ranch dressing in slaw, but I was pleased with the result of this recipe. • I would try this with a BBQ chick en leg or a pulled pork sandwich. • Our team went back and forth on this one. We liked the concept of a fruit and veggie slaw, but not with a ranch dressing flavor profile. Some thought a sweeter dressing would be better with the apples, while others advised keeping the dressing, but using jicama instead of the apples. Maybe this recipe is the beginning of two better ones! • Using a Robot Coupe to prepare the vegetables makes this recipe relatively easy. • Specify a crispy apple like Gala that’s also red. Even doing a half Gala and half Granny Smith would add color variety. Spicy Charleston Slaw 1 cup Picante sauce/salsa, medium-spice flavor* 1⁄2 cup White balsamic vinegar 1⁄2 cup Peanut oil 1⁄2 cup Sesame seeds 1 1⁄2 Tbsps. Cumin 1 1⁄2 tsps. Coriander, ground 1 1⁄2 tsps. Salt 1 tsp. Black pepper 2 lbs. Green cabbage, shredded 2 lbs. Green and red bell peppers, thinly sliced 1⁄4 cup Anaheim pepper, seeded, minced 2 cups Snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced 2 cups Red onions, thinly sliced 1) To prepare the dressing: Combine the salsa, balsamic vinegar, peanut oil, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly, cover and hold. 2) In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, peppers, red onions and snow peas. 3) Stir in the dressing and toss to coat all the vegetables well. Cover and refrigerate below 40°F for at least two hours. 4) Serve a 1⁄2 cup as a side to any grilled dish, sandwich, wrap or burger. *Note: Pace Picante Sauce-Medium can be used in this recipe. Recipe, Photo, Nutritional and Meal Pattern Analysis: Campbell’s Foodservice, www.campbellsfoodservice.com SERVES 24 (1⁄2 cup) PER SERVING 123 cal., 9.2 g fat, 2.6 g pro., 8.4 g carb., 2.5 g fiber, 236 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 1⁄2 cup other vegetables Kitchen Wisdom • This would be good as a side, or to top a fajita-style burger or a shredded chicken/pork sandwich. • This is a perfect slaw for fish tacos or carnitas. • I suggest using less-expensive rice vinegar instead of the white balsamic and less-expensive plain vegetable oil for the more expensive peanut oil. I also suggest subbing sunflower seeds for sesame seeds, as many students have sesame seed allergies. • I would reduce the amount of peppers and onions to half. You definitely need to market it as “spicy!” Buffalo Chicken Sandwich With Roasted Pineapple Slaw 50 each Chicken patties, breaded, spicy* 50 each Whole-grain buns #10 can Pineapple tidbits 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 1⁄4 Tbsp. Dill, dried 1⁄2 tsp. Garlic powder 1⁄2 tsp. Onion powder 1⁄8 tsp. Black pepper, fine ground 1 cup Buttermilk 2 Tbsps. White vinegar 1⁄2 cup Yogurt, plain, lowfat 1⁄2 cup Mayonnaise, plain, lowfat 3 lbs. Coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage 1) To prepare the Roasted Pineapple Slaw: Place the pineapple tidbits in a steamtable pan and add the vanilla extract. Mix well to combine. 2) Place in a preheated 350°F oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. 3) Remove from oven, stir and allow to cool completely. 4) To prepare the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the dried dill, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and yogurt with the buttermilk and vinegar. Add the mayonnaise and whisk well to combine. 5) In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix/shredded cabbage with the roasted pineapple, including any liquid. Mix well to combine, and then add the dressing and combine thoroughly. 6) Heat the chicken patties in 350°F oven. If using a conventional oven, heat for 20 minutes. When using a convection oven, heat for 7 to 9 minutes. 7) Place one chicken patty on the bottom of each bun. Top each with a 1⁄2 cup of Roasted Pineapple Slaw, and place the top bun on to complete the sandwich. *Notes: AdvancePierre Whole Grain Spicy Breaded Chicken Patties can be used in this recipe. Meal pattern result is based on specific chicken patty product used for analysis. Refer to credit information on products used in your operation. Recipe: AdvancePierre, www.apfk12.com Photo: EZ Events Photography Nutrition and Meal Pattern Analysis: Chef Sharon Schaefer, SNS, www.evolutionofthelunchlady.com, powered by Meals Plus SERVES 50 1 sandwich, 1⁄2 cup slaw PER SERVING 346 cal., 14.8 g fat, 12.6 g pro., 44.2 g carb., 5.3 g fiber, 508.5 mg sod. MEAL PATTERN 2-oz.-eq. meat/meat alternate, 3-oz.-eq. whole grains, 1⁄4 cup fruit, 1⁄4 cup other vegetable Kitchen Wisdom • Sub out the buttermilk. Instead, use milk and add more vinegar, so you don’t need to purchase buttermilk to use in a single recipe. • Gear it more toward high school and possibly middle schools—it might be too spicy and different for elementary students to try. • This recipe is fantastic. The pineapple slaw is a hit—spicy and sweet, with the buttermilk dressing cooling it down. • Prepare the slaw recipe separately, so it can be paired with a variety of dishes. • Many schools prep sandwiches in advance for faster service. This sandwich would not hold well through service with the slaw on top, as it would get warm and wilted and the dressing would make bun soggy. • Students like the dimension that the pineapple added! BONUS WEB CONTENT Food Focus Wondering why you haven’t seen as much cabbage of late? Find out the answer to that question and add a few more slaws to your repertoire with our September online extras! Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonus to access. Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer based in Odenton, Md., and is a contributing editor to School Nutrition. Recipes published in School Nutrition have not been tested by the magazine or SNA in a school foodservice setting, except for certain “Kitchen Wisdom” selections, which are evaluated by a volunteer pool of operators. When available, nutrient analyses are provided by the recipe source. Required ingredients, preparation steps and nutrient content make some recipes more appropriate for catering applications or adult meals. Readers are encouraged to test recipes and calculate their own nutrition analyses, meal patterns and HACCP steps.
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