When this column began back in 1993 it encouraged readers to share their own favorite recipes. To prepare myself for the future and what might involve some help along the way, my own cookbook collection swelled in size beyond imagination to prepare me to have, within reach at all times, recipes from old tattered softcovers as well as brand new hardcover award- winning compilations, and help along the way from readers who needed a certain recipe.
Today’s column began at the Elks a few weeks ago when member Jack Miller approached me to introduce himself and his wife, Barb, with a request for “the best creamiest cole slaw recipe in Madison” and wondered if I happened to have an answer and a recipe. The next day I reached for my Favorite Salad Recipe Cookbook Card to find a creamy coleslaw recipe, hoping to grant his wish.
This is just the beginning of coleslaw recipes from my vast collection of cookbooks and hope at least one might come close to what Jack Miller was searching for as being the “creamiest.”
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2 tablespoons minced onion
6 cups finely shredded green cabbage
4 cups finely shredded red cabbage
Use the freshest ingredients. Wash greens carefully and pat dry with a paper towel.
In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, honey and minced onion. In a large bowl, toss finely shredded green cabbage, red cabbage and celery seed. For dressing over mixture, salt and toss.
When Monty’s Blue Plate Diner decided to compile an Atwood Community Cookbook back in 2008, I responded immediately with a favorite coleslaw recipe served at Lundy’s Restaurant, Brooklyn’s legendary seafood eating establishment in Sheepshead Bay back in 1934 and later featured in Robert Cornfield’s book, “Lundy’s Reminiscences and Recipes,” published in 1998.
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup chopped onions or scallions, white and green parts
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 cups thinly sliced or chopped cabbage, red or white, or combination
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix together mayonnaise, cream, sugar, onions and cider vinegar. Gently stir in remaining ingredients.
Norske Nook ColeslawIn 1973 Helen Myhre purchased a small café in Osseo and renamed it the Norske Nook due to a group of retired Norwegian farmers who stopped by the “Norwegian Corner” at the same time every day to enjoy their morning coffee together while sharing thoughts about the county and the world.
½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon mustard if you like it with a kick … or not
Shred cabbage and carrots into a big crock or bowl. In a medium saucepan, mix sugar and eggs thoroughly, then add vinegar, salt, celery seed and mustard (if using). Cook on low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool. For over the carrots and cabbage.
Note: This coleslaw dressing may be stored in the refrigerator for quite some time, but no more than a month.
Another Norske Nook Coleslaw
Shred a large head of cabbage and a big carrot into a large bowl. If you grew up in a midwestern town, add 2 cups of Miracle Whip and ½ cup of sugar, and mix well using a wooden spoon, then mix hard and long enough to almost beat it, so it gets creamy.
Kay Kay’s Kicking Kole Slaw
“The Favre Family Cookbook” includes three generations of Cajun and Creole cooking from the Gulf Coast featuring recipes from Dickie Brennan’s restaurants in New Orleans and Wisconsin’s Brett Favre Steakhouses and here is a Favre favorite of Brittany Favre and Karen “Kay Kay” Favre.
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
4 carrots, peeled and grated
2 medium green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons mayonnaise
In large mixing bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, peppers and onion. In another bowl, blend together remaining ingredients, to over cabbage and toss well.
Peg Bracken’s Sour Cream Cole Slaw
Peg Bracken admitted that her ideal recipe is one that someone else locates and cooks. Second best, she claims, is something that’s hard to spoil, easy to make and remarkably good tasting and wonders if this might qualify.
2 cups finely sliced or shredded cucumber
¼ cup sliced green onion
Shred cabbage and wash it all. Drain and chill. Mix eggs, vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard and pepper together in a medium-size saucepan and cook over very low heat until thick. Cool and add sour cream. Add cucumber and green onion to the cold, crisp cabbage and as much of the sour cream dressing as you like. There will be more dressing than needed, so save it because it is very good for potato salad too.
“The Official Tailgating Cookbook” from Southern Living offered a coleslaw recipe everyone should have on hand at all times.
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon refrigerated horseradish
¹⁄8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
16-ounce package shredded coleslaw mix
Stir together mayonnaise, sugar and next four ingredients. Stir in coleslaw mix until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to five days. Make 4 cups.
If one of these doesn’t reach the status as being a “creamiest” coleslaw, there’s a stack of books on my desk with more to explore.
Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, PO Box 8058, Madison, WI, 53708 or by email at email@example.com.