Saturday, November 6, 2010

Red White and Blue Coleslaw

Ever have one of those embarrassing moments when you realize someone is watching you do something odd....and you really didn't think that what you were doing was really that odd...until you realized someone was watching you do it?

No I'm not talking about something that would get you banned from a retail establishment or cause an airliner to divert to the nearest airport.

I had a rack of ribs that I wanted to smoke today and I was going through my wood bins in the garage trying to decide which combination of hard woods and fruit woods I wanted to use. I had a chunk of cherry wood from last year and a chunk of peach wood that I got from Larry (Big Dude's Eclectic Ramblings) a few weeks ago.

I held the cherry wood up to my face and inhaled deeply, thinking about what it would bring. Then I did the same with the peach wood. I couldn't decide so I sniffed both pieces again. About that time I looked up and over at our next door neighbor. She was by her car looking at me like, "What the **** is he doing?"

I would have titled this post "my neighbor caught me sniffing my wood in the garage" but I don't even want to think about the type of internet traffic that would draw.

For the record I went with hickory and peach.

So I got my smoker going to 225f grate temp (250f dome temp on a Big Green Egg) and tossed my ribs on.

But this post isn't about ribs,

it's about coleslaw with blue cheese in it.

Yes, blue cheese in coleslaw. What? Don't look at me like you just caught me sniffing my wood in the garage. Blue cheese in coleslaw rocks! I know it sounds weird.

The first time I ever had it was a little over a year ago at Dead End BBQ, my favorite Knoxville barbecue restaurant. We loved it! So I took inspiration from George at Dead End BBQ, this recipe from Kevin at Closet Cooking, and was influenced by Jenn's current chipotle fixation to come up with our own.

Red, White, and Blue Coleslaw
adapted from Closet Cooking

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 - 2 chipotle peppers , seeded and diced
1 tsp turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp celery seed

2 cups cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the first 8 ingredients together until well blended.

Stir in the cabbage and carrot. Refrigerate and rest for at least 2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The result? It's not a clone of Dead End BBQ's slaw and wasn't intended to be. I liked the flavors and thought the pungent bite of blue cheese was just about right. But the kicker is the heat and smokiness that the chipotle brought to the dish.

I'd definitely make this one again but Alexis also had a fantastic idea, if you like a more vinegary slaw instead of a creamy slaw. Make our normal blue cheese vinaigrette and add the chipotle & celery seed for the slaw dressing.

And at the end of a perfect day, we warmed ourselves by the fire pit on the deck.

I guess the end of summer isn't THAT bad after all.


  1. don't look at me as if you caught me sniffing...
    That started my day off with a laugh! Always a good way to start the day :).
    Blue cheese goes well with any cabbage, so I'm sure this tastes great.

  2. The slaw sounds like a must try although it will be hard to sneak by Bev as she is very rigid on how slaw is supposed to taste - I'm sure I'll like it and the heat might win her over.

  3. How funny about your neighbor and the wood. Sounds like something that would happen to me. What did you say when she saw you..."would you like a sniff?"

    We love slaw and I've tried it with blue cheese and it was good (but rich). I'm going to try yours with the chipotle. I think it would give it a good kick.

  4. My goal in life is to make my neighbors look at me like what the *(&^% is she doing again? So, congrats!

    Your coleslaw sounds unique and tasty, but I gotta tell you it's the photo of the ribs that leaves me hungry!!!

  5. WOW! Your slaw sounds incredible. Love that blue cheese thing going on! Our grilling here is done for the year and it will be missed. You just might be starting a new trend with the wood sniffing. It definitely could be worse! I do stuff like that all the time. The more you explain it though, the worse it gets!

  6. I, personally, LOVE creamy cole slaw. I'm not a huge fan of vinegary cole slaw so this sounds awesome to me. Especially with the chipotles and blue cheese. Doesn't sound weird at all, sounds amazing. I have blue cheese in my fridge right now. Love it!

  7. I've got to try that cole slaw.

  8. chipotle and gorgonzola, huh? I'm willing to give it a go! I love both and everything else in it, so why not!? YUM! And omg, I laughed so hard at your "wood be" (ba-dum-bum) title...classic :)

  9. The BH loves blue cheese so he would love this recipe! Sadly, he will probably never eat it b/c I dislike blue cheese and he doesn't cook, haha. Maybe I would use goat or feta? I agree, Dead End BBQ is delicious, BUT there is a new place on Broadway just as you head into Halls called Mike's Smokehouse that I have heard from MULTIPLE food-loving people is phenomenal. We can't wait to check it out and compare!

  10. This coleslaw sounds awesome. Hubby is a HUGE bleu cheese fan so I can't wait to make it for him!

    Love the story too! People look at me like that in the produce section!

  11. i think blue cheese in coleslaw sounds awesome! of course you're talking to a person who's happy to eat blue cheese in just about anything!

  12. We love creamy coleslaw in this house, so this would be one to try. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Funny story about the wood-sniffing. And you're right, that title might have attracted unwanted visitors to your blog. ;) I feel that way when friends catch me taking pictures of food before I serve it, but I, and they, are getting used to it. The cole slaw sounds delicious!

  14. I have this feeling that,your neighbor was not all that shocked. I get glances when they see a tripod and camera hovering over the Q.

  15. Funny story...sniffer you...that is my absolute favorite coleslaw mix. Many of my clients in the cafe were big fans when I made it too. I want ribs now, wonder why?

  16. This sounds like the perfect coleslaw for me! Love me some blue cheese!!!

  17. This coleslaw sounds incredible, and with that chipotle kick to it, I know I'd really enjoy this. By the way, I'm holding a CSN giveaway on my blog and you're welcome to come by and enter.

  18. Very funny story- I needed a good laugh!
    Great sounding coleslaw....I've never had it with blue cheese, but imagine it's very good.

  19. Haha, gotta love the neighbors... NOT! At least not my neighbors. The coleslaw sounds wonderful but those ribs look right!! I love that you have a wood bin. Cool.

  20. Here we go again. Me reading your food blog. I can feel my thighs getting wider with every picture.

    *that's what she said*

  21. LOL.. guess it could have been worse, she could have caught you in your garage playing with your wood!! :)
    You know I'm going to have to try this coleslaw...I mean chipotles..mmmmm.. I have two of those magical little peppers left, just waiting to be used!!! Fantastic idea!

  22. Seriously!! Next time you write about sniffing your wood in the garage you'd better put up a WARNING sign: Caution, this post may cause coffee to come out your nose due to excessive laughter! As much as I hate to admit it, I too, have sniffed....but only because our dog PEES on the wood pile and I want to make sure that whatever wood we bring inside for a fire will not produce an acidic, urine stench that permeates nostrils for hours on end! I've already printed out the recipe for the slaw - will make it tonight! Thanks!

  23. I'm anti-slaw, but "my neighbor caught me sniffing my wood in the garage" might be your best line yet.

  24. Chris - I get caught doing crazy things all the time. My in-laws saw all the pictures of food on my camera the other day and questioned me on why there were more pics of food than the kids. Try to explain your way out of that one ;-) Sniffing wood isn't really too bad, right?

    Love this coleslaw with the added blue cheese. I know that I would love those flavors together.

  25. I love, love coleslaw....that one sounds like a wonderful recipe...I am printing this one.

  26. That's hilarious! We eat tons of cole slaw in our house - almost every night - this is a delicious way to add some new life into it.

  27. I love blue cheese, and your coleslaw recipe looks and sounds amazing! The ribs do, too!

    I have said this before, but I love your custom firepit, Chris!

    Kim in MD

  28. This basically summarizes approximately every experience I have at the grocery store. Where I am lost in thought doing something that truly only makes sense to me. And am definitely being observed by, oh, everyone. Including security guards. Oy.

    This coleslaw. Awesome.

  29. And I though I had my neighbors worried ;).

    Great recipe. We do it a lot with mayo, rice vinegar, and celery seed, but the gorgonzola and chipotle sound like great additions.

    Thanks for the recipe and the laugh!

  30. Blue cheese is my son's favorite... I know what I'll be making him!!! YUM!

  31. P.S. You crack me up! I bet your neighbor gets a kick out of you.

  32. Laughing out loud about your neighbor catching you. Did you at least take some ribs to them :)?

  33. I read blogs at 6:00 a.m. when the whole house is asleep - this post made me laugh so loud, I woke the dogs up. I'm still chuckling that your neighbor caught you "sniffing your wood." :D
    The coleslaw sounds ridiculously good and that shot of the ribs is beautiful. My favorite shot is the fire pit, though. I love fall.

  34. I got here by accident about smelling wood?

    That is a great sounding coleslaw and I like Alexis's suggestions too.

    Those ribs look mighty tasty for sure.


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