Friday, August 1, 2014

Dijon Vinaigrette Coleslaw & Jamaican Jerk ribs

I have never particularly liked coleslaw growing up. I really despised the one that we'd often get at KFC.  I think it was the creamy-sweetness that turned me off. Maybe this is because Viet coleslaws are not creamy. At any rate, this all changed back in my wheat eating days when my good friend Tuyen introduced me to Bakesale Betty's unholy fried chicken sandwich which was made with a vinaigrette-based coleslaw. It's damn good. I'd pick out all the onions because I was allergic to raw onions back then (the sulfur).  But it opened up my culinary world to non-Viet, non-creamy coleslaws.

It's grilling weather so I picked up some nice country ribs (butt) from Whole Foods; this is a flavorful fatty cut from sustainably raised pork and in the bulk pack (3 lbs+) it's a reasonably priced $4.99/lb comparable to what one would get buying direct from the farmer.  I used a Jamaican Jerk recipe from Bruce Aidell's Complete Book of Pork; I make it mild because my kid doesn't like spicy and we serve with organic habanero sauce on the side.

My favorite coleslaw recipe hands down is Jeremy Fox's Apple Savoy Cabbage which I make with organic fuji apples; for whatever reason, organic apples have been hard to come by this year.  So sans apples, I had to do something different.  I threw this coleslaw together because I happened to have a savoy cabbage in the fridge from a few weeks back.  The coleslaw perfectly complemented the Jamaican Jerk ribs.  

I like savoy cabbage because it is thinner leaves which soften quicker meaning that you can eat it sooner, more digestible.  I toss the shredded cabbage with grey sea salt similar to how one would prepare cabbage for fermenting (sauerkraut or kimchi).  The salt begins to break down the tough cellulose in the cabbage, making it more digestible.  I use the America's Test Kitchen method of shredding (see which ensures you don't end up with large sections of rib.

I recently started using estate grown organic certified olive oil direct from the farmerbecause I boycott the mafia (also why I never ate at Phở Hoà chain even before I stopped eating at phở restaurants).  The 2013 Moonshadow Grove Mission Olive Oil is very spicy so when my daughter is eating, I use mild tasting avocado oil.

Two recipes below--Jerk ribs and dijon vinaigrette coleslaw.

Jerk Marinated Ribs 

(adapted from Bruce Aidell's Complete Book of Pork)

  • 1 dried ancho chile, deseeded
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbs ground allspice
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tbs organic coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to form a paste. Slather it on the rubs. In the best case scenario, you would marinade this the night before. In my usual, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants scenario, I grill it when the grill is ready. ("I" being the royal "I" here as you see my husband is doing the actual grilling wearing the new apron I waxed for him for Father's Day.)

Dijon Vinaigrette Coleslaw

4 servings


  • 1/2 head of savoy cabbage (approx 1.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 tbs of grey sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 tbs of organic raw apple cider vinegar (Trader Joe's, Azure Standard, or Bragg's are all excellent sources)
  • 1 tbs of whole grain Dijon mustard (Trader Joe's has a nice one)
  • freshly ground grains of paradise or black pepper
  • pinch of grey sea salt
Quarter the head of cabbage.  Cut and discard the core.  Thinly slice the cabbage perpendicular to the center rib.  Toss in a bowl with 1/2 tbs of grey sea salt.  

Mix together the remaining ingredients and toss over the shredded cabbage.  Let sit at least 10-15 minutes prior to serving.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

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