Monday, August 3, 2009

Misadventures in the Kitchen: Kohlrabi Slaw

A few days ago, I mentioned that I'd recently made kohlrabi slaw. This seemed to be a recipe of interest, and to be honest, the slaw I made that night was simply shredded kohlrabi tossed with Marzetti's Lite Slaw Dressing, salt and pepper. It was pretty darned good, but it wasn't the slaw of my dreams.

See, I had this recipe floating around in my head. I wanted an Asian slaw, using kohlrabi, apples, and carrots. This is the perfect time of year, as all three are fresh at the Farmers Market and in area groceries.

I'd also promised some people to have it up for this week's What's Cooking Wednesday article.

So, I got out all my imagined ingredients, worked away yesterday making the recipe, and failed. Miserably.

I know. It happens to all of us. Nevertheless, I'm still thinking this recipe can work. There's something just ... off about the dressing. So, dear readers, I'm throwing this out to you to get your ideas and opinions. What would make this better? Where did I go wrong? Here is the current recipe:

Kohlrabi Slaw

3 cups raw, peeled kohlrabi, shredded (about one large)
2 medium, peeled carrots, shredded
1 large apple, preferably tart and firm, like a Granny Smith, peeled, cored and shredded
4 TBS toasted (or dry roasted) sunflower seeds
juice from 1/2 lemon (or 1 tsp bottled lemon juice)

1 TBS canola oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp low sodium tamari
1 TBS mirin
2 tsp honey
1 tsp fresh, grated ginger
juice from 1/2 lime (or 1 tsp bottled lime juice)
1 good squirt Sriracha sauce (or other hot sauce) - to taste
2 TBS mayonnaise (Hellman's Light Mayonnaise was used here and that's reflected in the nutrition information)
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground fresh pepper
1. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
2. Toast the sunflower seeds long enough to release a toasty smell. Don't let them brown, just turn a slight color. Set aside.
3. Combine shredded kohlrabi, carrots and apples. Toss with lemon juice. Add cooled sunflower seeds.
4. Toss with dressing.
5. Chill for at least two hours, adjust for seasoning before serving.

Serves 8

Now, to even make this edible, I added a tsp of sugar and another TBS of mayonnaise to what I've listed above. Um... really not what I wanted originally.

Here are things I know I would do differently next time:

a. Throw out the tamari - it left an unpleasant, too-salty taste.
b. Leave out the apples - you can't distinguish them from the kohlrabi. I was thinking of adding shredded beets for color, but I think they'd add that salty flavor that I'm trying to avoid.
c. Get rid of the Chinese 5 spice - it made the slaw too spicy. What do you think might be a good substitute?
d. I'm not sure I want the mayonnaise at all.
e. Get rid of the lemon juice - I really only used it to prevent the apples from discoloration, but since I'm throwing out the apples, that's a moot point.
f. Add raisins?

Okay, cooking friends, what would you do to this to make it better? I'm going to take your suggestions, play around, and hopefully post a great slaw recipe next week. Cheers!

Also, if you wanted to do me a really huge favor, you could leave your comments on this version of this post. Thanks!


Brian Miller said...

put a medium rare well seasoned steak on the plate next to it? lol. keep in mind i can only cook on the grill...but i will try everything onmy plate.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Jen, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I can usually disregard people's intolerences, but sometimes just saying, "to each his own" is not acceptable. Thank you for your kind words of support. As for failing with a recipe, if I had a nickel for everytime I have failed with one, I'd be rich. :) Love your blog.

Madam Crunchypants said...

How about leaving the apples in, but picking a different, sweeter variety, and using a hiyashi chuka sauce?

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar (or honey)
3 tablespoons white vinegar (I use rice wine vinegar)
5 tablespoons chicken stock
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chili oil (optional)

Jen said...

Well, Brian, that would be one solution. I think my original version might have ruined the steak, though!

Thanks so much for the kind words, Teresa. As I've said before, I just love your blog and cooking. I really appreciated your taking the time to discuss the Chico's controversy.

Thalia, I didn't know about that sauce, but it looks like it might work. I think I'm going to try three different versions and see what seems best. I've gotten some good suggestions, both here and over at my writing gig.

Ben said...

With all those ingredients in the dressing I don't know how it could go wrong. Not that it did, like you said. I am no expert in dressings so I'll check your other gig and the comments here to see what people think about it :D