How To Make Central American Coleslaw

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,557
    Chef Amy Riolo from Harris Teeter shows us how to make Central American coleslaw.

    Amy Riolo: Hi! I'm Chef Amy Riolo for Harris Teeter. Today we're making Central American Coleslaw. This is a wonderful recipe that we're going to love and just like traditional Coleslaw, it tastes great but it's very very healthy as well. So you'll love it for many reasons.

    To get started, the ingredients that we'll need are, one head cabbage, finely shredded, one large carrot grated, four red chilies grated, one tablespoon dried oregano, one half cup distilled vinegar and one tablespoon of salt.

    The first thing that we need to do to make our Central American Coleslaw is to select our cabbage. We have got a nice head of cabbage here and just like when you're peeling iceberg lettuce, you always want to peel off the outer layer. And then what we want to do is take our cabbage and just cut it into four sections and why I do this way, is so that I avoid the core, because we don't want any of the core in the middle and then I'm going to put them right into the food processor. And I left the food processor do all of the work.

    That's our first batch. We're going to go ahead and just place everything right into the bowl. I'm going to continue working the cabbage in batches and then we're going to add in our other vegetables. So what I'm doing now is I'm taking my carrots, I am going to put them right into the food processor as well. We will shred them up just the same way that we did the cabbage.

    And remember this is a very rough recipe. So if you want to add more or less of different type of vegetable or you want to even go ahead and buy the Coleslaw mixture in the store, you can feel free to do that. It well tastes great. Just use this mixture instead of the traditional mixture for the sauce, and you are going to have a wonderful flavor and a really really healthy condiment.

    So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to prepare my peppers, and normally I recommend chilies for this, because they just give you little bit of heat and a little bit of flavor. Today, we're using the mini red baby peppers. Sometimes people don't like spice, so they might want to use a little baby sweet pepper instead. You could even use a large red bell pepper, whatever you choose. But because of the size of these, I can kind of show you what you'd be dealing with if you were dealing with a hot pepper, because sometimes people don't like the spice.

    So what you do, is you'd cut away the sides and then right here when you have your rib, this where a hot pepper normally would be full of seeds right here, and you would just want to take away those seeds, take away the rib and that would give you a little bit less heat.

    So now we can go ahead and slice our peppers. I like to get them turn really fine diced like this, almost a mince and that way you get them throughout the salad, because they aren't as many as there is cabbage. So you want to have very, very tiny pieces. And what I'm going to do now is I'll just mix everything together, and you could also do this a day in advance, and it would be absolutely wonderful.

    So the next ingredient that I'm going to add is a spice and though you might not know it but Mexico is a big producer of oregano. What I would like to do when I add it to a recipe, is I like to grind it like this in my hand. Because what you are doing when you are grinding it is that you're releasing the essential oils from the spice and that gives it more flavor. It also makes it more fine, so that it can be incorporated throughout the recipe a little bit more easily instead of just having those big chunks.

    So now we can add about a tablespoon of salt and I'm using kosher salt, you can use whatever you have and then for a little bit of kick, I'm going to add our distilled vinegar. The vinegar really helps to give it that briny kind of olivy pickle flavor. So that once this sits for about you know 24 hours or overnight, you've got a flavor of like the cabbage has almost turned pickle and it's really, really delicious.

    Now I'm going to add a little bit of boiling water, and this is about a cup and a half. Sometimes you can add a little bit more depending on how long you are going to let it sit. But I find that a cup and a half for this amount of cabbage and this amount of vegetables works really well. And you can see how it looks kind of soupy right now.

    Well what's s going to happen is the boiling water is going to partially cook some of these ingredients, so it will taste a little bit more mallow and a little bit more tender. It's going to help everything to bind together and just marry really well. And the great thing is, we didn't have to use any mayonnaise, any dressing or anything that has a lot of fat and calories in it.

    So our Central American Coleslaw has just finished marinating in the refrigerator, spending there for a quite some time now, so we can see as we pick it up there are lot of those flavors have come together. There is still little bit of liquid and it's good, because we wanted to keep it nice and moist and to give us the flavor that we need. But its not as soggy as it was when we first put it in. Also the flavors have marinated and have really mingled well together and so it looks great and it smells wonderful.

    What I'm going to do now is just put it in my goblet, doesn't have to be in a goblet, you can serve it in little cups or in ramekins or in whatever you like. But it's really nice to serve it as a separate accompanying like kind of like a side salad, next to a meal.

    So there you have Central American Coleslaw and it's a perfect accompaniment to any of your summer grilled meats or barbecued foods.