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.