I recently wrote about the star of my Valentine’s Day feast, these spicy sloppy joes. You may have noticed that they were paired with a crisp, crunchy and tangy coleslaw, which was heaven actually spooned onto the sandwich. Other highlights include using bits of my garlic bread to sop up the sauce on my plate, and eating this straight out of the bowl while waiting for the sandwiches to come together.
I must admit, over the last few years, I have experienced a real aversion for everything culinary coming from America. It happened in several phases. Phase one, in the beginning, found me begging anyone and everyone to send me ridiculous things in the mail like maple syrup, root beer, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal cream pies… After a couple of years, this went away, and I quietly realized that not only did I no longer need these items, but that I had actually stopped enjoying them. Grown out of them in sorts. Then came the phase where I was so enamored with everything French, that I went along with everyone else, trash-talking America and it’s lack of culinary chops.
I’m happy to say that I’ve come back around full-circle. The thing about America is, it is such a melting pot. There aren’t that many dishes that we can claim to be truly American, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t good food out there! Over the last few months (years, really) I’ve been trying to introduce Jérôme to good, American food. He’s been traumatized again and again by the quality and quantity of food that we eat on a regular basis, and I needed to convince him (and myself) that eating American didn’t have to mean burgers and fries. And that even if it did, these items could be better, no, way better than either of us imagined.
So, after meatloaf molé (recipe coming soon), spicy potato salad with crisp granny smith apples and many others, I went full-on American for Valentine’s day with my sloppy joes and this quick coleslaw. The end result: it was one of the best meals we’d enjoyed together in weeks. Thank you America!
Quick coleslaw with poppy seeds
4 small carrots, grated
1/3-1/2 of a cabbage, finely julienned
3 T white vinegar
1/4 C non-fat yogurt or fromage blanc
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 t pepper
1 T honey
1 T sugar
A few T of poppyseeds
While this dish is very quick to prepare, I think it tastes way better after it’s marinated in the fridge for a day or two, giving the cabbabe time to soften and absorb some of the tangy flavor from the sauce.
Begin by cutting your cabbage into very thin slices, as thin as you can. Don’t hesitate to discard or save any larger pieces for another dish. I used about a third of one whole cabbage. Once julienned, add the cabbage to a bowl with the white vinegar, allowing it to soak while you prepare the carrots and the sauce.
For the carrots, simply pass them through a fine grater and add them to the mix. In a separate bowl, mix together all the other ingredients. Now is when you must taste test. I personally like my coleslaw a little tangy, so I went a bit heavier on the mayonnaise and vinegar. It also needs to be sweet, so I added a bit more sugar. The addition of red wine vinegar here would go a long way, but I was all out.
Once your sauce has reach the desired consistency and level of tang, pour the sauce over the cabbage and carrots and mix well. Refrigerate until serving, if possible for at least a day or two (the cabbage will keep its crunch but will have much more flavor!).