Herby sorta thai ‘slaw

This is a story about the search for new sides to go with my BBQ.

“Some kinda ‘slaw has got to be a good start”, I thought to myself (because if I thought to someone else that would make me some kind of other-world super computer human and that, I am not).

This started with the usual cabbage and carrot scenario, and then branched off into a few of the ingredients that might compose a Thai green papaya salad, and then a little kale because quite frankly I live in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales and local law dictates that kale must constitute at least 18% of my daily food intake (also, I really do like the stuff. Really), and then a little nam jim inspired dressing to finish her off.

It is a little different and bloody good so you should probably try it.

HERBY SORTA THAI ‘SLAW

Enough to go on the table with a few other sides at your next BBQ.

2 cups shredded green cabbage from approximately ¼ medium cabbage
1 carrot, grated
2 leaves curly kale, stem removed, shredded
1 Lebanese cucumber, randomly chopped
1-2 tomatoes, randomly chopped too
2-3 red radish, thinly sliced
½ cup bean sprouts of some description
2 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 handful each coriander and mint, roughly chopped
Lime dressing (recipe follows), or your favourite nam jim or nuoc nam will work just fine


LIME DRESSING

250ml lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic, microplaned
3 coriander root
Combine all ingredients and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Check seasoning and adjust with a little salt if necessary.
Use it to dress the salad above.
Any leftover dressing will happily hang out in the fridge for 5 days and can be used to anoint chicken, seafood or noodley dishes or whatever you think might like a little limey goodtimes.


Creamy take-away joint ‘slaw


I lived a very cabbage sodden childhood.

As the grand child of German and Polish new-Australian grandparents there was little doubt that I would grow up eating cabbage in one or more of its many guises. I did indeed embrace the cabbage in many forms but without a doubt, my favourite was the creamy coleslaw. Mums version was great, as was my nans, but if I were to asked my absolute favourite coleslaw of my early childhood my gaze would be cast straight down the path, past the health food store and the early learning center, past the op shop and the supermarket carpark, and onto the planet-like red and white bucket beacon that was the local dirty bird joint. Just like any kid, I fucking loved a bit of takeaway and due to the fact that said takeaway did not come very often in our house hold (something I am truly thankful for now), it was ever more enticing.

Sometimes I still feel that I may enjoy a bit of that dirty bird, maybe some mashed potato and gravy, a cute little baby soft sweet roll and definitely some creamy, overdressed coleslaw, but mostly that thought is swiftly replaced with the memory that this food* makes me feel like I may have eaten actual shit, so I stay at home and do my home-made version… or maybe just the ‘slaw with whatever else may hit the table that day.

Feel free to swap out some of the green cabbage for a little red cabbage and / or kale. It works.

CREAMY TAKE-AWAY JOINT ‘SLAW

Serves 6 – 8 as a side

¼ large green cabbage
2 medium carrots
½ brown onion, peeled
Buttermilk dressing (recipe follows)

Roughly chop all ingredients.
In a food processor, pulse cabbage 4 -5 times until roughly chopped some more. Just pulse it though – you don’t want to puree the cabbage. Repeat with remaining vegetables.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, dress with buttermilk ‘slaw dressing and set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate and get all sexy and nasty tasting (Yes, I do believe sexy and nasty can be very successfully used in a sentence together).
Get it in your face however you see fit – with fried chicken, BBQ, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, pork chops, your girlfriend’s belly button, straight up – you choose.
This will last in your fridge for a day or two.

You should definitely serve it with a hotdog. I’ll tell you how in my next post…

BUTTERMILK ‘SLAW DRESSING

¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbls rice vinegar (white wine vinegar will also do the trick)
1 tbls castor sugar
A pinch of each salt and white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Whisk until amalgamated.

*this is the word “food” being used in its loosest possible context

All-of-the-things ‘slaw


All-of-the-things ‘slaw

Yup. Coleslaw not purely consisting of the traditional cabbage, carrot and possibly onion, but instead this coleslaw has pretty much all of the things in it. Quite contradictory to my views of the past I might add – those who know me or who think they know me through these interweb pages will attest to the claim that I am indeed quite a coleslaw purist.

But you know what? I’ve seen a few funky arsed ‘slaws recently, coleslaws with cute monikers along the lines of “rainbow ‘slaw” or something similar, and I thought maybe it’s time to try something a little different. Move past the missionary position for a night and give the ol’ reverse cowgirl a try. Yep I did that.

And you know what? I do believe in this case that the old dog has been taught a new trick.

I will not be fetching a ball or your fucking slippers anytime soon, but I think there is definitely room in my life for the all-of-the-things ‘slaw.

True, there was a time when I could not abide the thought of bastardised ‘slaw, opting only for the purest of pure. But now I embrace it, possibly even love it. Maybe you should give it a go too. Your cowgirl will thank you for it.


ALL-OF-THE-THINGS ‘SLAW

(serves 8 as a side)

¼ medium green cabbage, shredded
¼ small red cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, grated
1 stalk celery, sliced
½ red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
½ green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 head sweet corn (or ½ cup frozen corn kernels), kernels removed and pan fried briefly
3-4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 cup coleslaw dressing
Salt and pepper

Get a reals big mixing bowl – something that is going to fit all of these ingredients and then some.
First mix all of the salad ingredients except dressing so you can get a nice even mix.
Add dressing and combine until thoroughly mixed.
Check seasoning. Yeah, salads need seasoning too. Some of the greatest food crimes in history have been perpetrated via lack of seasoning to a salad or side dish.
Get it on the table where it would love to play second fiddle to anything from the BBQ, fried chicken, fishcakes, loaded sweet potato, etc.

Potato, roast carrot and corn salad… and its good friend, the BBQ sauce

potato salad, bbq sauce, barbecue, low and slow
This is a damn good salad.

It’s good with heaps of different other things on the table too.

It’s also just pretty damn good to put a big fat bowl of it into your mouth late night after a little too much rehydration therapy.

It is a salad that has appeared next to some of my favourite meaty things over the past 6 months or so.

I guess now would be a good time to mention that this is not a story about how the little potato salad, the side dish, the supporting actor rose to glory and became the main event in it’s own right. Nope. This is not a win for the little man, this is really quite simply a recipe for a salad. A damn good salad… and it’s good friend at the BBQ table (or breakfast table… dinner table… burger feast… bedroom), the new and improved recipe BBQ sauce.

Read on.

That potato salad
That potato salad

Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad
Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad

POTATO, ROAST CARROT & CORN SALAD

With upgrade options.

(serves 4-6 as a side)

3 medium potatoes, diced about the size of the keys on your computer keyboard, boiled or steamed until tender
2 medium carrots, roasted and then cut a similar size to the potatoes
2 sweet corn, kernals removed from cobs, tossed in a pan with some oil for a minute or two
*1 chorizo sausage, sliced
*1 green capsicum (pepper), medium diced
3-4 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 large handful parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

• Mix it all together. Effing simple as that
• *Add upgrade options if you’re keen
• Season to your liking with salt and pepper
• Fuck yes

That BBQ sauce
That BBQ sauce

I also enjoyed home  made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time...
I also enjoyed home made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time…

BBQ SAUCE

1.25 cups tomato paste
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup (just like cocaine, the pure stuff is best but if the cheap stuff is what you can afford then I’m sure you’re going to buy it anyway)
125ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
1 teaspoons each dried chilli flakes and ground black pepper
scant ½ cup corn flour, whisked into 1 cup water to form a slurry
¾ tablespoon salt
1lt water

• Dump all of the ingredients except cornflour slurry into a large, heavy based pot
• Simmer over a med-low heat for 45 minutes or so, stirring often to avoid burning and fusing to the bottom of your pot
• Stir in corn flour slurry and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly
• Right now you could put it into your smoker at 110C for an hour or so for a little smoky love because we all need a little smoky love in our lives from time to time or you can let it cool, stirring from time to time, and then pour it over just about anything that’s going to end up in your mouth
• Did you notice how “stirring constantly”, “stirring often” and “stirring from time to time” are all use in different points in this recipe? That’s because they are all different things! Work it out!

Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy
Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy

Easy Peasy Smoked Pork Belly with Sticky Barbecue Glaze

SAMSUNG CSC Smoked pork belly roasted with a sticky BBQ glaze. Put quite simply, go and find yourself a piece of smoked pork belly, make a bare-bones, basic as, easy-peasy BBQ glaze to get that shit all lovely and sticky, much like your sheets on a Friday night, and then roast it for a couple of hours while you sit back and dream about how good this is actually going to be. These things come out of the oven looking pretty black (or lighter tint challenged, if I were to be a little more PC), but they were not burnt no, no, no. Burnt was Anakin Skywalker in “Revenge of the Sith”, the third episode of the Star Wars series. Furthermore, these things were definitely edible and damn tasty, unlike Anikin after his scorching. I am not lying to you when I say this pork was damn tasty. It would go against everything I stand for if I were to sit down to a pork dinner that just wasn’t that good. I’ll be flying to Africa with the express purpose of dirty dancing (”I had the time of my life” plays softly in the back ground) with a sweaty, feverish local to take a hit of ebola before I subject myself to a shitty pork dinner. The point I’m trying to get across (yes, there is a point) is that you should find a piece of smoked pork belly (preferably not in the park or on the street. That pork may not be the best) and give this shit a try.

Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven
Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven

Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking
Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking

The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker
The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker

STICKY SMOKED PORK BELLY (for 4) 1kg smoked pork belly, cut into 2cm pieces 1 tablespoon oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder (don’t worry about it if you don’t have some lying around) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper A pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce 1 cup home made or store bought BBQ sauce ¼ cup light soy sauce Green bean and feta salad, to serve • Season pork with oregano, garlic powder and pepper and place on a lined oven tray • Cover and bake at 180C for 40 minutes • While pork is baking, mix together remaining ingredients to make the basting sauce • After 40 minutes remove cover from pork and baste with sauce • Continue to bake ribs uncovered for another 40 or so minutes, until pork is tender, basting and turning every 10-15 minutes. If pork starts to caramelize or blacken too quickly turn the oven down to 160C • Once cooked, pork will be tender and the glaze will be thick and dark, much like it has been soaking over night in a bucket of sump oil • Serve it with green bean and feta salad, and whatever else you see fit

That beans salad. Everyone bass their version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it's vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork
That beans salad. Everyone has their own version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it’s vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork

GREEN BEAN, FETA AND HERB SALAD 500g green beans ½ red onion, fine dice 100g feta ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 handful each coriander and parsley, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoon good olive oil Seasoning • In a bowl, combine onion, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse • Blanch beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, so they still have a heap of crunch about them. Strain beans and immediately add them to onion mixture. Add half of the herbs and toss until combined • Crumble feta over the top of the salad and garnish with remaining herbs

A Cracking Winter Barbecue and My Nana Rose’s Potato Salad

Cook some sausages on the BBQ and while your at it, get a nice pot of pulled pork on there too
Cook some sausages on the BBQ and while your at it, get a nice pot of pulled pork on there too

I have been on a brief hiatus, much like the syphilis in the old sea farer’s knickers after a quick shot of penicillin (pun well and truly intended), but never fear, I will always return to these pages just like the venereal disease will return to the knickers of the wayward sailor. It’s just that, much like the wayward sailor with the laden purse, I have found a new mistress who promises me pleasures of the flesh… or at least a new job. That’s right, I have a new job. And just like a new mistress that new job will take up a lot of my time. But unlike a new mistress, it will reward me with the a fist full of the queen’s good dollars so I may ensure the bank does not for-close on our mortgage, rendering us of no home and obligated to join the queue of haggard, potato sack wearing folks with clear birth defects, begging the carnie folk to employ our feeble services.

To top off the new job business, Jennee and I have decided to start a new little business venture all of our own. Now, don’t start letting your mind wonder about the you tube clips we may or may not be offering the world in the not to distant future because the little undertaking we are embarking on is totally legit! We, my friends, are starting a catering business.

Oh yes the things we shall do.

So that, in a nut shell (not an actually nut shell, of course. That would make me some kind of squirrel or that weird little creature off “Ice Age” the picture film) is why I have had neither the time nor… well… just the time really, to visit my friends in Blogland.

But here I am with some pretty pictures of another cracking winter barbecue we sorted out recently and, just for your face’s pleasure at your next winter (or summer) barbecue, I shall revisit the recipe for my Nana Rose’s potato salad. This salad is pretty flexible when it comes to the use of smoked pork product and herbs. Smoked Polish sausage is what Nana would use but bacon, speck, ham or any smoked pork product are all very feasible alternatives. Also, I often use dill instead of parsley (of even both if you want to be total rock star), but any herb would work.

It’s great to be back, thanks for having me and you’re very welcome.

Get it on the table so people can eat it
Get it on the table so people can eat it

Give them forks. We are not animals
Give them forks. We are not animals

Plenty to go round
Plenty to go round

Don't be afraid to chuck some flowers on your salad as it tends to impress the shit out of your friends. Just make sure they're edible as poisoning your friends equals no friends for you
Don’t be afraid to chuck some flowers on your salad as it tends to impress the shit out of your friends. Just make sure they’re edible as poisoning your friends equals no friends for you

Smoked sausage, sauerkraut, caramelised onion, mustard, tomato relish, jalapeño relish and gruyere cheese, in a roll and about to make it's way into my belly
Smoked sausage, sauerkraut, caramelised onion, mustard, tomato relish, jalapeño relish and gruyere cheese, in a roll and about to make it’s way into my belly

That potato salad
That potato salad

MY NANA ROSE’S POTATO SALAD

1kg baby potatoes, boiled in their skin, whole, until tender (the potato should slide off easily when you insert a knife. Kind of like a stripper sliding down a pole. Are those things lubed up or what? Wait up. I think I just got it) and cut into bite sized pieces
1 brown onion, peeled and diced
4-5 polski ogorki (dill pickles), diced
1 cup of diced smoked sausage
4 boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
A bunch of parsley, chopped
1-2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar, or the liquid from the pickles
A splash of oil (not engine oil. Vegetable or light olive oil should do the trick)
Salt and a good hit of white pepper

• The main requirement for making this is that it is mixed while the potatoes are still warm so all of the ingredients can have a little party and their flavours can really get to know each other, just like when you’re at and orgy and you can taste a little bit of everyone on each and every person. This salad is good porn.

Doesn’t look like much but that’s childhood memories in a bowl right there.

Make it today, or go to an orgy. Up to you…