Monday, March 28, 2016

One of my favorite recipes

Lots of families get together around different holidays.  We get together for as many as possible.  My mother-in-law hosts most of the holidays at her house and she does part of the cooking and my sisters-in-law, nieces, etc. provide some of the food, too.  For Easter, my mother-in-law likes to serve turkey and ham with lots of salads.  One of my most requested salads is Oriental Slaw.  It is a favorite of many people in Alabama but I have no idea if people in other parts of the country eat this or not . . .if you have never eaten this slaw, RUN to the store and buy the ingredients and make it right now.  You won't regret it!  I've made a few modifications and learned a few tricks along the way and I'll share those with you.

Oriental Slaw (original recipe given to me by Angela McKinney)
(what you see in the pictures below is a double batch -- the written recipe is for a single batch)

2 packages beef ramen noodle soup
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seed kernels (dry roasted if I can find them- personal preference)
1 bunch green onions, chopped (or pre-chopped from the produce section)
1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 bags slaw mix from produce department

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crumble ramen noodles into bite size pieces
Place nuts, seeds, and noodles on large baking sheet and toast in oven for 12 minutes or until almonds are just beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and place cookie sheet on rack to cool.



While nuts, seeds, and noodles are cooling, mix up the dressing. Gather up the two packets of dry seasoning from your ramen noodles (you didn't throw those away, did you??), the sugar, oil and vinegar.


Two tips -- 
1.  use a funnel
2.  save an oil bottle - or a similar bottle (I bought a cute bottle with a pop top but it didn't make it home from some function or another)


Put dry ingredients through the funnel first.  I know that seems like common sense but if you've never cooked before you might not think of that step!!


After pouring sugar and ramen noodle seasonings into bottle, add vinegar and oil.  I just happened to have EXACTLY the right amount of oil in this bottle so it worked out perfectly.  Why do you need to put the dressing in a bottle?  You will not add the dressing until right before serving and you need to be able to shake the dressing up really well.


Canola oil works well in this recipe.  I have made it with Olive Oil (and I love olive oil) but it changes the taste.  Same thing goes for apple cider vinegar.  I like apple cider vinegar in lots of recipes but not this one.


Another tip - buy some 2 gallon freezer bags and keep them in your pantry/cabinet.  Those bags come in handy for so many things!!  I used four bags of cole slaw for a double recipe.  This recipe is also really good made with broccoli slaw mix.  Open the bags of slaw and the green onions and put those items inside the big baggie.  I chopped my green onions a little more - I don't like big hunks of any kind of raw onion.


After the nuts are totally cool, you can add them to the bag with the slaw/onion mix.  You can do all of these steps the day before you need the slaw.  You don't have to do it the day before but you CAN do it the day before!!  Store the big baggie in the fridge until time to transport or serve.


By storing the dressing in the oil bottle and the slaw mixture in the baggie, items fit easily into a cooler (we keep our house very cool so I do not refrigerate the dressing if I'm going to use it the next day -- the sugar gets soooo clumped up!!  I'm a germaphobe and if I don't think it gets yucky, you can believe me -- it doesn't get yucky!!).  We leave home around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings and we don't eat lunch until 12:30 so our items need to stay cool.  We usually take this slaw to our family Fourth of July festivities, too, and we use the cooler for storage on that day.  Works well!!

About thirty minutes before you want to eat, shake the dressing well - get all that sugar incorporated into the oil and vinegar.  Pour the dressing INTO THE baggie with the slaw and zip the bag together (make SURE the bag is sealed!!!!).  Gently squeeze the baggie and incorporate the dressing into the slaw mixture.  When you pour it into your serving bowl, you can continue to mix.  This is extremely helpful if you are making a double batch.  If you are making a single batch, you can mix it in the bowl fairly easily.  (one time I was out of town - my kids were in high school and had to attend some function or other -- a reunion of their elementary class, I think!!  I purchased all the supplies for them before I left and they had the recipe.  When I got back home, they told me that the big baggie burst open and slaw went everywhere in the sink/kitchen . . .so beware . . .don't get too physical while mixing the slaw and dressing)

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!!  What are some of your "go to" recipes that people always request?  I love to try new recipes!!


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