... featuring the lovely and talented red cabbage. Ok, so I know I'm not winning any prizes with this photo - its the best I could do given my lack of experience in culinary photography and the limited tools at my disposal here. I understand that a light box is essential for photographing food ... but I have yet to take the plunge and buy one.
When I first began the blog, I wasn't really thinking about doing the "foodie" thing here. I hadn't really planned on taking elaborate photos of my ingredients and their resulting dishes. I figured whatever was lacking in visual appeal would be made up for in quirkiness ... hello chicken head! And, besides, I rather like the aesthetic of the pictures I've chosen so far. But then I got to surfing around and, honestly? The food blogs with personal pictures are more compelling. There's no denying it, they just look cooler. They make you want to make their recipes. Diva that I am, I not only want to look good, I want my blog to look good too ... I mean, I'd hate to have to mock myself.
Then again, does the world really need another foodie blog? Aren't the 450 million currently operating ones enough? I dunno. The more I think about it, the more my answer might be: no, they're not enough ... because who but me has my Divalicious perspective? I'm not reinventing the wheel here at Beach Eats, but what I have to offer is my sense of humor and the perspective of a natural born Diva ... on a diet. Are there other foodie Divas writing out there? No doubt ... but can they also wax poetic on the perils of Brillo Head? Or give advice on how to handle Combat Shopping? I think not. I hope not.
Bottom line: I'm both a foodie and a Diva ... and maybe its time I embraced that. So, the more I think about it the more I'm inclined to try my hand at this food photography deal and see how it goes. Bear with me, this could be an adventure! (At least until I spring for the light box.)
All of which brings us to the recipe of the day, Asian Slaw. You may think I'm crazy when you see this list of ingredients ... but don't blame me ... I adapted this one from Alton Brown. I know, he's kind of an irritant too. I think that's a prerequisite for having a show on Food Network. Don't get me wrong, I dig his recipes and I suspect he's great fun in person ... I just wish he'd stick to cooking and give those silly bits a rest.
Anyhoo, my search for the perfect Asian slaw recipe began and ended with his take on it. For my money it seemed to have the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors that I was seeking ... though, of course, I've made a few changes. Do not freak out when you see that there is mint in this recipe. Mint? In slaw? Yes and yes. It is essential and the end result will be lacking without it. Feel free to do as I did and forget to purchase the scallions ... oops! ... but I forbid you to leave out the mint. I mean it ... don't make me come up there!
Props to AB for the original recipe - its amazing! I loved this slaw and I know you will too. It was the perfect way to highlight the beauty and flavor of bro's cabbage and I wish he were here to partake of it. Given all the jalapeño hoo-ha of late, I substituted some Sriracha sauce and that was a fine solution. AB's recipe called for Napa cabbage, but I prefer Savoy, and I decided to include a bit of that along with the red. My inner fat-cop made me reduce the amount of peanut butter, but feel free to increase it if you're is off duty. And lastly, I've added some toasted black sesame seeds and a bit of celery salt just because. I served the slaw with some cold roast chicken and a side salad. A more perfect summer meal I could not imagine. Thanks again bro, I hope you like what I've done with your wares!
Asian Slaw with Red Cabbage:
- 1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 head of Savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 1/2 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger root
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- juice of one lime
- 2 tbsp. dark, toasted sesame oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp. peanut butter (sugar free if your on SB)
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce*
- 1/4 tsp. celery salt
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into fine julienne
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into fine julienne
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated into shreds
- 3 scallions, chopped (both white and tender green parts)
- 2 tbsp. fresh mint, cut into fine chiffonade
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, cut into fine chiffonade
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp. of toasted black sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine all the shredded cabbage, both peppers and the carrots and stir. Pour the mixed dressing over the vegetables and toss / stir well to combine so that they are well coated. Add the scallions, mint, cilantro, black pepper and sesame seeds and stir / toss again to combine.
Serve and enjoy! As written this recipe will serve 4 to 6 people.
* Sriracha sauce can be very spicy, depending on the brand. The original slaw recipe called for some minced serrano chiles and they are on the salmonella list now as well, so I opted to leave them out. I love Sriracha sauce, but if you are heat-averse, leave it out or substitute a dash of Tobasco Sauce, which is more mild. I really did forget the scallions and, frankly, I don't think they're necessary. YMMV, so the choice is up to you. This recipe is perfect for Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, but if you are on phase one, you may leave out the carrot. Enjoy!