None of your friends have rich parents whose houses you can crash for the fourth of July? Oh, man does that suck. Here’s a little solace for your picnic in Prospect Park tomorrow: My mom’s cole slaw. Cole slaw doesn’t cheer you up? But what if this particular vegetarian side dish is laced with bacon, so the hippies can’t have any? Doesn’t that make you grin just a little? Aw, there you go.
Mom’s is an adaptation of “Grandmotherly Cole Slaw” from Phillip Schulz’s book As American as Apple Pie. Carole Lalli leaves out the bell pepper and boullion cube:
6 slabs of thick-cut bacon
3 pounds of red cabbage or a mix of red and green
1/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
pinch of chili powder
big pinch each of salt and black pepper
1 medium red onion halved and sliced thin
2 cups mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
dash of cider vinegar (optional)
handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Fry the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it’s nicely brown, but still chewy also. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon fat! Put the bacon fat (!) into a bowl. Whisk the mayo, sour cream, milk, mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper together with the bacon fat (!). Add the cider vinegar now if you want to use it.
Shred the cabbage and carrots, using your knife skills, a mandoline, the slicing attachment on your food processor, or, for the carrots, the biggest holes on your box grater. Dump this in a big bowl — or a container to bring right to the picnic) along with the onion and bacon (chopped or just broken up by hand). Pour the dressing over, toss well, taste for salt, etc. and get ready to haze the un-American. (Just kidding — some of our best friends are vegetarians and we’re sure they’ll get over it soon.)
God bless the USA!