Menu 31: Coleslaw and Toad in the Hole

Our last men for April is compose of two very unusual pairings:

  • Coleslaw – page 125
  • Toad in the Hole – page 355

The term “coleslaw” arose in the 20th century as an anglicization of the Dutch term “koolsla”, a shortening of “koolsalade”, which means “cabbage salad”.  This is the must have dish in any American BBQ or picnic event.  The “slaw” (as it’s sometimes called) is a salad made of shredded red or white cabbage, sometimes carrots are included, but many regional versions exist.  This all incorporated with a salad dressing made with mayonnaise. Sometimes it also contains buttermilk, mustard or vinegar, which are very common variations of the dressing.  There is also a barbecue slaw, which is known as the red slaw and it’s commonly found in North Carolina, which is made using ketchup and vinegar rather than mayonnaise.  

Coleslaw is generally eaten as a side dish with foods such as barbecue, French fries, and fried chicken. It may also be used as a sandwich ingredient, placed on barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs along with chili and hot mustard. It is sometimes seen in delicatessens on variants of the Reuben sandwich - with coleslaw substituting for the sauerkraut and dressing, the meat being either pastrami or corned beef, and the sandwich commonly called “Rachel” instead of “Reuben” (also simply “Corned Beef Special”). A variation of coleslaw made with vinegar and oil is often served with pizza in Sweden. As we dig deeper in the history of the coleslaw you come to one conclusion the sky is the limit with these ingredients, they are probably as many variations of coleslaw as there are cooks.  The only tip I can give you here is to make this a day ahead of serving so all of those flavor have time to develop into the ingredients.

If the coleslaw is typical American salad, the Toad in a Hole is representative of its English roots.  This traditional dish consists of sausages in a pudding batter, usually served with vegetables and onion gravy. In the book a popover batter replaces the pudding batter. With six ingredients needed, I have to agree that this would be the perfect Sunday brunch dish.

So are we going on a picnic adventure or a relaxing Sunday brunch?