A recent recipe request reminded me of something I have meant to talk about for a while.
If your mother, grandmother or another family member makes a dish that is one of your favorites, don’t delay in asking for the recipe, Write it down, either on paper or digitally. Because one day it will be too late.
One of the dishes in my mother’s head was a German-style coleslaw with a cooked bacon and vinegar dressing. I’m sure she learned it from my grandmother, Theresa Gall, who was a first generation German-American.
Maybe it was the bacon, but I remember thinking that I could eat the whole bowl by myself. It was addictive.
I know I can find a similar recipe in a cookbook or on the Internet and probably come pretty close. Still, I would like to know her special way to get it just right. Now I can’t ask ... but you still might be able to.
So a reader requested a coleslaw recipe that is not too mayonnaise-y. We heard from Kaye B. Bull of Mount Pleasant, among others.
“In response to your request for a coleslaw recipe with no-mayo dressing, enclosed is a recipe given to me several years ago by a cousin. It is tasty, the vegetables are good and crunchy and I believe your reader will enjoy it. This is best made the day before and keeps well for up to one week.”
Cliff’s Cole Slaw
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, grated
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 cups sugar
Mix salt with cabbage and let stand to drain in colander for 1 hour. Squeeze out excess water and mix with carrot and bell pepper.
For dressing, mix ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, let cool to lukewarm and pour over cabbage mixture. Mix well.
From Connie Mulleady of West Ashley: “Here’s a recipe from 1972 ‘Southern Living’s Party Cookbook’ I’ve used many times and always got good reviews.”
Yield: 8 servings
About 4 cups of finely shredded cabbage (can also be chopped)
1/2 cup ripe black olives, chopped
1/4 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
1/2 cup commercial sour cream
1 teaspon seasoned salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salad oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato wedges, cherry tomatoes (whole or sliced) or grape tomatoes
Combine cabbage, olives, onion and caraway seed in large bowl. Blend sour cream, seasoned salt, sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper together; pour over cabbage and toss.
Check seasonings; more salt may be needed. Cover and chill before serving. Garnish bowl with tomatoes; it needs the color contrast (and it’s good).
Beth Ranson of Daniel Island shares a recipe sans mayonnaise and says it would be great as a side or in fish tacos. I agree. Beth got it from Publix Apron’s Simple Meals recipe card.
Juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 tablespoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
1/3 cup thinly sliced pepperoncini
5 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
6 cups shredded cabbage or bag of precut coleslaw mix
Whisk lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and pepperoncini until blended.
Stir in the remaining ingredients just before serving.
Cheryl Cote of Summerville writes, “This one is especially good for hot summer months, picnics, etc., since there is no mayonnaise used.”
1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
2/3 cup salad oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
Boil together the vinegar, celery seed, salad oil, salt and sugar.
Pour mixture over vegetables and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Anne Hicks of Summerville sends this recipe. While not mayo-free, her family likes it a lot.
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar (optional; cuts the tart taste of the vinegar)
Splash of milk
Dash of salt and pepper
Fresh chopped apple bits to taste
Chopped pecan bits to taste
16 ounces shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar if using, milk, salt and pepper. Mix with the apple, pecans and cabbage.
Lastly, I found this recipe and will definitely try it to see if my mom would approve. However, I might play around with the ratios of vinegar, sugar and water. It sticks in my mind that my mother usually used equal parts. I also think she might have cooked some finely chopped onion in the bacon fat before adding the other ingredients.
This recipe comes from one of my treasured regional cookbooks, “The Heritage of Southern Cooking” by Camille Glenn (1986, 2007).
Wilted Slaw With Bacon Dressing
6 thick slices very lean bacon
1/2 small head tender green cabbage
31/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
11/2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Celery seed (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cook the bacon in the oven until cooked through but not brittle, 15 to 18 minutes (or saute in a heavy skillet).
In the meantime, shred the cabbage and chop it rather fine. You should have 6 cups.
Remove the bacon, reserving the fat, and chop. Set aside.
Combine the bacon fat, vinegar, water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat, and add salt to taste.
When you are ready to serve the salad, pour the warm dressing over the shredded cabbage.
Toss with the chopped bacon, add pepper to taste and sprinkle celery seed, if desired.
Who’s got the recipe?
Last call: A West Ashley reader asks for recipes for beef tips in a brown mushroom sauce that does not use salty soup. Also, how to stir-fry those beef tips with vegetables.
If there’s a recipe you’ve lost or a dish you are just wondering about, email food@postandcourier or call Food Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.
Lisa Burnett has fun in the kitchen
This week’s home cook is a Southern-raised transplant from New York City who is loving the Lowcountry lifestyle and the food scene.Don’t forget, if you would like to suggest a good home cook to be profiled, email email@example.com with “Good Cook” as the subject line. Briefly describe the person’s talent and how you know him or her, and provide their phone number or email address so we can contact them.Name: Lisa Burnett. Age: 30.Residence: Charleston.Family: Single (and looking).Occupation: Digital Merchandise Manager for LeCreuset.com.Q: You moved here from New York City, where you were a frustrated, wanna-be cook. What was going on?A: New York apartments all have one thing in common: small kitchens! My first apartment was the size of a normal kitchen. Another one didn’t even have a kitchen counter. One had an oven the size of a shoe box. The list of frustrations can go on and on.Q: How and when did you come to Charleston and what has changed for you?A: I moved to Charleston in January of this year for a dream job for a lover of all things food-related, working for Le Creuset. Besides driving a car for the first time in 10 years, the biggest change has been the slower (and more enjoyable) pace of life. Q: What is your style of cooking?A: I wouldn’t say I have one particular style. My goal is to have fun in the kitchen. I love a challenging recipe, but also enjoy the simplicity of raw seasonal food.Q: Who or what has had the greatest influence on you in terms of cooking?A: My grandfather, George Burnett, was quite the adventurous cook and liked to experiment in the kitchen. He once converted an old refrigerator into a smoker. He also ate possum. As you can imagine, I tend to adjust his recipes here and there.Q: What has surprised you about Lowcountry cooking and the food scene here?A: Being from Mississippi, I am well-versed in all of the typical Southern foods. However, the food scene in Charleston is really a notch above other cities its size. There are some amazing chefs doing really inventive things here. Everyone I meet here really takes pride in Charleston as a culinary mecca; it’s very cool. Q: One of my favorite local restaurants is ...A: FIG, hands down. Not only do they have impeccable service and superb cocktails, but the food never disappoints. I love sitting at the bar and just ordering appetizers to share with a friend. No trip is complete without the gnocchi, the chicken liver pate and the coddled egg. Partnered with a Lowdown, of course.Q: One of my favorite New York restaurants is ... A: Lucali’s in Brooklyn. I can confidently say, it is the best pizza in New York. The crust is perfect, and the ingredients are top-notch. I get pepperoni, onion, garlic and extra basil; I call it Dragon Breath Pizza. Q: You’re embracing the art of grilling. What has been your best dish so far?A: The guys at Ted’s Butcherblock have been most helpful, and I’m slightly obsessed with their flatiron steak. I think I’ve cooked it for four guests this summer. Just basic preparation: salt and pepper and quick visit to the grill, 2 minutes per side, with a 10-minute rest time. Just the way I like it. A favorite recipe:This recipe calls for a favorite ingredients of mine that will be easily found in the farmers market this time of year, figs. I love to take this dish to parties; it looks way more complicated than it is.Crostini with Fig, Goat Cheese and ProsciuttoIngredients1 baguetteOlive oilGoat cheese, at room temperatureThinly sliced prosciuttoFigs, thinly slicedHoneyDirectionsPreheat over to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette into ½-inch slices and brush with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 10 to 15 minutes, and let cool. Spread goat cheese over crostini round, top with ½ slice of prosciutto, and then place sliced figs on top. Just before serving, drizzle with honey.If you would like to suggest a good home cook to be profiled, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Good Cook” as the subject line. Briefly describe the person’s talent and how you know him or her, and provide their phone number or email address so we can contact them.