Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tropical Slaw is Coleslaw at its Best

Recently I saw a recipe for a coleslaw using mango and radicchio added to the cabbage. It listed other ingredients, and then there were things I thought would be great, or better. I wrote my list of ingredients to use, bought all the ingredients. . . .and then I had to have a tooth pulled and it all got put on hold. Today I was trying to decide what to have for lunch and decided it was time to make that slaw. I got a bag of slaw mix, but used only 8 cups of it (it all condenses down so much after a few minutes). 

Treviso Radicchio - photo courtesy of FLM Radicchio King
I did use the radicchio and mango. The mango needs to be a little under ripe, hard enough that it can be sliced and julienned. Even an under ripe mango will have sweetness, though the harder it is, the more residual tartness that will remain. This is all great for a slaw, because even if it has a little tartness, it is still sweeter than the other ingredients and will blend in perfectly. I added in a jalapeno, which gave a lovely hint of spice, but can be omitted or increased as desired. I love fresh ginger so I added a fair amount - more than some people might like, as fresh ginger also has a spicy bite to it.  Radicchio is a red-leaved member of the chicory family. The redness of the leaves is accomplished by placing the heads in darkness to stop the chlorophyll and promote the bright red and white of the leaves. It is thinner leaved than cabbage and more bitter. Cutting open a radicchio and a red cabbage side by side, though the heads look similar, the thin leaves and the more maroon color of the radicchio (vs the purple of "red" cabbage) is immediately noticeable.
Tropical Slaw
Tropical Slaw

This salad has elements of sweet, sour, salt and bitter, making it a nicely rounded and balanced mix of flavors. For me, this salad is one of the most bright and interesting mixes I have tried in a long while. The flavors were just that great together. I could easily see this paired with any summer barbecue, but particularly barbecued ribs or my grilled chicken or pork with Indian spices. It would be lovely to accompany a brunch also.

Tropical Slaw

makes about 6 - 8 servings
Tropical Slaw
Tropical Slaw

8 cups of shredded cabbage or cole slaw mix
1 small radicchio, about 2 cups shredded
1 under ripe mango, peeled, sliced, julienned
1/2 - 1 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed for less spice, julienned
1 - 3 tablespoons thin slices fresh ginger, julienned

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup of sugar or 4 packets Stevia
1 teaspoon salt
few grinds pepper

Place all the slaw mic ingredients into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and stir to combine. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss well to combine.

The pork or chicken grilled with Indian spices is another of my most favored go-to dishes for summer grilling time. It is a hit no matter which meat is used, and I have also made it with turkey tenderloins. If using chicken breasts, it is best to cut them lengthwise into two portions each, so the flavor is best distributed. The flavors are well worth it! If using a pork tenderloin, cut each tenderloin on a diagonal into about 3 or 4 pieces. If using turkey, use the breast portions and try to cut them along the silver-skin that bisects the breast meat. Remove the silver-skin totally. The mixture of spices is easy and so flavorful that this meat is hard to resist. I have had people eating the turkey done this way, exclaiming over how wonderful it was - only to find that it is turkey and they really dislike turkey, generally. The marinade will work for at least 2 pounds of meat. Do try this.

Grilled Pork (Turkey or Chicken) in Indian Spices

(up to) 2 pounds meat of choice
Grilled Pork with Indian Spices
Grilled Pork with Indian Spices

3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil 

Prepare the meat of choice as described above. If at all possible, use whole spices (coriander, cumin, cardamom seed and black peppercorns) and grind them in a small coffee grinder used only for spices. In a gallon sized zip top bag, place the red wine vinegar and olive oil and then add in the ground spices along with the salt, pepper, garlic, ginger and onion flakes. Seal the bag and swish the ingredients around to mix. Add in the meat of choice and allow to marinate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill to desired doneness.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.