Sometimes cooking brings out the mad scientist in me. It lets me channel my inner Doctor Doofenshmirtz (from “Phineas and Ferb” on the Disney Channel. Never mind that it’s a kids show – it’s one of the best comedies going. Check it out. You’re welcome.)
Like all good evil plans, this recipe has a back story. When I was a child, growing up in Gimmelschtump…no wait, that’s the cartoon guy….not that there is a lot of difference between Gimmelschtump and well, you know.
But one of the interesting things about growing up in the American south is the church pot luck suppers. Whatever you might think of religion, the food was pretty amazing. The whole process had this sort of unspoken coordination. Everyone had their ‘thing’ they brought…Food Network would probably call it their “signature dish”. But there were some things no one ever brought, because there was a county fair sort of undercurrent of competition about it. Cole Slaw was one of those things. Everyone made their own dressing, and everyone guarded the recipe like it was the formula for cold fusion or something. They all had their own spin, and none of them were very good, in my opinion. Then I moved north and discovered the best slaw ever…my friend Kelly’s. She didn’t measure or fuss. She heaved shredded cabbage in a bowl, thwacked some stuff on top and VIOLA – the best slaw ever.
I call this “Cheaterpants” slaw because compared to Grandma’s cold fusion recipe, it is quick, easy and nothing is measured. I borrowed Kelly’s heave and thwack method, combined it with some of her ingredients, some of Grandma’s ingredients and VIOLA – cheaterpants coleslaw.
I’m guess-timating the amounts. So heave, thwack and adjust it all to your taste.
1 package shredded cabbage ( I like angel hair style with GASP no carrots) Get whatever style you like, with carrots or chip in your own carrot with a peeler, or skip the carrots. I’m guessing this package was around 3 cups by volume of the angel hair stuff which is what? 14oz by weight. Give or take. Whatever works
1/2 cup of your favorite ranch dressing (I used Ken’s Steakhouse because it was on sale. It is rapidly becoming my favorite based on taste too)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used the olive oil version. It wasn’t on sale – I just straight up like it better)
3-4 Tbs balsamic vinegar (the balsamic part is important…makes the whole thing if you ask me, so I wouldn’t use other vinegar for this)
Cracked / fresh ground lemon pepper
pinch of salt
Heave the cabbage in a big bowl. Thwack everything else on top. Stir. Adjust it all to taste.
My favorite way to eat this is on fish tacos, SoCal style, but it is pretty tasty by itself as a side.
By omitting the several pounds of sugar Grandma’s slaw had, this is really glycemic friendly. It could be very lipid friendly too if you are kamakaze enough to substitute low fat ranch dressing. The olive oil version of mayonnaise is supposed to be lower overall fat and has proportionately more monounsaturated (the good kind) fat. Being made out of cabbage, how unhealthy can this stuff be?