Smoky Chipotle Coleslaw
Makes: 4 servings
By Heidi Allison
Equally at home as a side to smoky barbecued meats, partnered with Sunday’s fried chicken, or layered inside a Baja-style grilled fish taco, this creamy, smoky, slightly sweet with a “grace-note-of-heat” slaw is a new take on the American standard. What grabs your attention in this recipe is the black pepper, which acts as a structured back note to the sweet, smoky hit of the chipotle chile in the tomato-vinegar adobo sauce. This versatile dish is not too sweet, too tart, too bland or too spicy…It’s beautifully balanced.
To make the prep stage of thinly slicing the cabbage a quick and easy task, I use a Japanese Benriner mandolin, but a sharp knife will work just fine. One caveat with this dish is timing: the slaw should marry for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving, so the flavors can fully develop, but…it should be eaten the day it is prepared or the cabbage will get soggy. Soaking the sliced cabbage in an ice water bath before adding the dressing is a secret culinary technique that keeps the cabbage crisp…a nice touch. And, add an extra squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving to keep the citrus flavor note bright.
½ cup good-quality mayonnaise (Best Foods original or Hellmans)
1/6 cup chipotle adobo
1 tsp. freshly ground (coarse grind) black pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked flake salt or Kosher flake salt
juice of 1 lime
1/2 head organic green cabbage, quartered, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/4 head of red cabbage, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 organic carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 bunch of organic cilantro, tough stems removed and finely chopped
In a food processor or Ninja bullet, add mayo, chipotle chiles and sauce, paprika, salt, garlic and black pepper, and blend until smooth. Add lime juice and and pulse to combine.
In a large bowl, add shredded cabbage and soak in ice water for about 1 hour to crisp up the leaves, then drain.
Combine cabbage, carrots and cilantro and toss to combine. Add 1/4 cup of chipotle dressing and toss until veggies are coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 to allow flavors to marry. Right before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and toss to combine, then serve.