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"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." ~Harriet van Horne

Hit or Miss

"Beach" Slaw - It's a "Miss"

Published by: Kathy

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  • May
  • 31

I was determined to recreate the “Beach Slaw” served at Waltz Fish Shak in Madeira Beach, FL.

The delicious slaw is served as a side with every dish you order.  I love coleslaw of any variety, but my husband immediately turned his nose up at it.  One taste was enough to change his mind and had me addicted!  This slaw is so simple…It’s made with cabbage, carrots, raisins and almonds.  The dressing is vinegar-based but very sweet and “glossy”.  I’m guessing there’s either honey or Karo syrup in there somewhere, to add the glossiness.  There’s something intriguing about the crunch of the cabbage and almonds and the sweetness of the raisins and dressing.  Anyway, I searched cookbooks and the internet to try and come up with a copy-cat version of the “Beach Slaw” I fell in love with.  I found a recipe that seemed like it might work, so I tweaked it and tried it out.   With any experiment, there is a chance for failure, so I knew the outcome would be a hit or a miss.    My first attempt at Beach Slaw was a definite “miss” and even inspired the addition of a new  blog category…appropriately named, “Hit or Miss”.    Below is Beach Slaw…take one.  The first mistake I made was using purple cabbage.  I thought it would give the dish a lot of color…and I was right!  It actually gave it color-overload…It was so….PURPLE!   It didn’t even look very appetizing.  The second obvious flaw was the dressing.  I never got it quite sweet enough, even though I added a few tablespoons of honey, which the recipe didn’t call for.  Fortunately, I only made a small bowl and have eaten some of the slaw, just not to be wasteful.  What can I say? Rome wasn’t built in a day!  I will try again and let you know how it turns out.

Beach Slaw 

  • 1  small head purple cabbage (about the size of a softball)
  • 4  carrots, peeled and shredded
  • Slivered almonds
  • Craisins

Dressing  (Makes enough for 2 large servings)

  • 1  Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2  Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1  Tbsp. water
  • 1/4  tsp. salt
  • 1/4  tsp. sugar
  • 1  Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2  Tbsp. honey
  • 2  Tbsp. canola oil

Trim off a small amount of the bottom of the cabbage, where the stem was.  Quarter the cabbage and cut out the thick white cores on each piece.  Process through the slicing disc of your food processor, or slice thinly to make strips.  Shred carrots by hand or via food processor.  Toss cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl.  (If you think it’s too much cabbage, put some away in a zip lock bag for another day.)  Add craisins and almonds to suit your taste buds.  I put approximately 1/4 cup of each.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, except for the oil.  Slowly drizzle the oil in while whisking to emulsify.  Pour the dressing over the slaw in the bowl and toss.  Chill for a few hours before serving.  Makes 4-6 servings.

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Pineapple Chicken Salad

Published by: Kathy

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  • May
  • 23

My research into the history of chicken salad, determined that the first version of chicken salad was served in 1863 in Wakefield, RI.

Apparently there is not one person responsible, but we can thank the Chinese for being the first to serve variations of “chicken salad”.  Of course, these versions were far from what we are familiar with today, but the general idea was pieces of chicken mixed with a variety of spices and oils, always tied together by a binding substance.

Chicken salad recipes are as diverse as the nation we live in.  If served in 100 different restaurants, you will get 100 distinct flavor combinations.  I prefer the sweet and savory varieties that contain both fruit and nuts in the recipe.  When I went searching for a recipe to try out, one caught my eye in particular.  It was probably the curry-based dressing that appealed to me, as well as the pineapple and almonds.  As always, I put my own twist to the recipe switching from almond slivers to sliced almonds and from raisins to craisins.   I really enjoyed the finished product and plan to make it again soon.  (I cut the recipe in half.  Feel free to do the same.)

  PINEAPPLE CHICKEN SALAD

 Salad

  • 4  c. cooked chicken, chopped
  • 2/3  c. celery, chopped
  • 2/3  c. scallions, chopped
  • 8-oz.  can pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve the juice)
  • 20  small grapes, sliced in half
  • ½  c. almond slices, *toasted
  • 2/3  c. dried cranberries  (optional)

Dressing

  • 2/3  c.  mayonnaise
  • 4  T.  pineapple juice (reserved from chunks)
  • 1  tsp. salt
  • 1  tsp. curry
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard

 *To toast almond slices, preheat oven to 325˚.  Place almonds in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.  (Make sure to use almonds that are nearly the same size.  If you have almonds that are mixed sizes, you can risk burning some, while others remain undone.)  Bake for 5 minutes, opening the oven to shake the cookie sheet, to turn the almonds over every couple of minutes.  Remove from oven when almonds are lightly browned.  Unfortunately, you will have to “baby-sit” the almonds during this process…they tend to burn very quickly if you are not diligent.

 In a small bowl combine all dressing ingredients and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix all salad ingredients together.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Chill for several hours before serving.

 

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