Every time I bring a new cookbook home, my husband, Charlie, rolls his eyes and feigns disapproval, although I know he enjoys reading new recipes as much as I do.
So I wasn’t totally surprised when he asked for a new cookbook for Valentine’s Day. And it wasn’t just any cookbook – it was “Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook,” and it contains 2,000 recipes written in painstaking detail, just like the magazine.
The first recipe we tried from it was a coleslaw to accompany some barbecued chicken and baked beans. Not only was it delicious that night, but it was even better the next day. We wish now we’d made a double batch.
Let me say this though. The original recipe called for a head of cabbage, thinly sliced, and 1 grated carrot. We took the shortcut of using the preshredded mix in a bag. If you’re a purist and want to go their route, microwave the coleslaw only and add the grated carrot when you add the cold vinegar mixture. The original also calls for 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, which we omitted.
Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw
1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄4 teaspoon celery seeds
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bag cabbage/carrot coleslaw mix
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Combine 1⁄4 cup vinegar, oil, celery seed, and pepper in medium glass or metal bowl. Place bowl in freezer until vinegar mixture is well chilled, at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
While mixture chills, toss bagged slaw mixture with sugar and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power for 1 minute. Stir briefly, re-cover, and continue to microwave on high power until cabbage is partially wilted and has reduced in volume by one-third, 30 to 60 seconds longer.
Transfer cabbage mixture to salad spinner and spin until excess water is removed, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove bowl from freezer, add cabbage to cold vinegar mixture, and toss to combine. If desired, adjust flavor with sugar or vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes. Toss again before serving.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.