Friday, July 07, 2006

Coleslaw with Hot Caraway Vinaigrette (Page 141)

  • Date: Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - 7pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Emilee
  • Dining Companions: Brian and Chris
  • Recipe Rating: D+

We picked this as a side dish for our 4th of July meal because coleslaw seemed like a very classic American choice. Since Chris doesn't like mayonaise, we chose this unusual coleslaw over the classic "Creamy Slaw." It was really terrible. The vegetables were fine, of course, but the dressing was really unpleasant. For one thing, the effect of putting warm dressing on a big bowl of vegetables was that some of the cabbage wilted and some didn't, leaving the dish with a very odd combination of textures. The caraway seeds totally overwhelmed the flavor of the entire dish. While all of us like caraway, it was just too much. More than that though, the flavor of the caraway and mustard seeds didn't distribute well through the dressing. So you would have bites with no flavor, and then bites that were so strongly flavored they were hard to eat. Plus, the crunchiness of the caraway and mustard seeds in the dressing just furthered the textural problems rather than providing a nice, subtle textural contrast. Emilee and I both left most of our portion of this dish on our plate. It was that bad. If you have The Book, don't make this one.

Ralph and his wife Susan, and Soren are coming to dinner tonight. Shockingly, I am not making any experimental food for this multi-course meal. Chris seemed to think that picking recipes I knew to be good would be a safer choice. He's right that the food will likely end up better this way, but what fun is that!?! When Chris and I were disagreeing about whether or not I could make food for my project for this dinner, Chris said "You wouldn't serve experimental food to the tenured faculty at MIT!" He's wrong about that! Between the thesis defense cakes, birthday cakes, and seminar treats I have made in the last 6 months, there are many faculty from MIT (and elsewhere) who have eaten food from my project. It really doesn't seem like a sign of disrespect to me. In some ways, quite the opposite. In any event, tonight we will be having a non-experimental meal, for better or for worse: Appetizer: fig, prosciutto, and goat cheese sandwiches. First course: red wine risotto, and baby greens with warm goat cheese. Second course: beef roasted in a salt crust, and green beans with almonds. Dessert: key lime pie.

No comments: