Thursday, April 19, 2007

Freezer Slaw

Today, I'm making freezer slaw. I originally got a recipe from my mother in law way back when my kids were elementary school age, and I used to make this regularly. I would make the slaw and then put portions into freezer bags. It was so handy to be able to reach into the freezer and pull out a bag of slaw, let it thaw, and then serve it to family. It was also handy to have when throwing together an meal for spur of the moment guests. Since freezer slaw will last in your freezer for three months or longer, it's a great way to put up garden cabbage. I however, have mostly made it with store bought cabbage.

I enjoy and make two kinds of slaw. My favorite is a mayo-based slaw, but dear hubby adores a vinegar/sugar slaw. Since freezer slaw is based on a vinegar/sugar dressing, he really enjoys this dish. I'm looking forward to serving him some tonight!

There's a lot of variations of freezer slaw recipes out there. Instead of digging through my files for my old recipe, I decided to try a new one from the Internet. I'm also experimenting with using pre-cut cabbage. We'll see how that turns out. Usually, I run the cabbage and carrots through a food processor/slicer from scratch before making the slaw.

Here's a basic freezer slaw recipe that you can adapt to your needs:

Start with 1 large head of cabbage, grated
Add 1/4 cup salt
Cover salted cabbage with water. Let the cabbage soak in the salt water for about an hour
After one hour, drain and rinse. (Note: It's important to rinse thoroughly and then to thoroughly drain or squeeze the excess water away. Part of the function of the salt is to draw out any water in the cabbage that might ruin the crispness of the cabbage when it thaws).

Next, make the dressing: 1/4 c. water
1 c. vinegar
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed
(I add onion powder when I do not use a real onion)
Combine the dressing ingredients. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm (approx. 1 hour -- about the same time as your cabbage will sit in the brine).

While sauce is cooling and cabbage is sitting in brine, grate one large carrot and chop one large pepper.

After the cabbage is ready, add the carrot and bell pepper.
(Some people also add 1 small chopped onion and/or two chopped stems celery and/or a bit of sweet red bell pepper. I've even seen recipes that add a bit of cucumber. I sometimes use a bit of finely chopped onion instead of onion powder and a bell pepper, myself, but I have not used celery or cucumber. Experiment to find out what your family likes.)

Next, pour the cooled dressing over the vegetable mixture. Mix.

If you would like to set aside some slaw to be used that day or within the next two weeks, pour some into a container and place it into the fridge.

Put the rest of the slaw (or all of it if you wish to freeze it all) into labeled freezer containers and place in the freezer.

Whenever you wish to serve slaw with a meal, pull a container out of the freezer and let it thaw. The best method is to let it thaw in the fridge overnight, but you can also let it thaw more quickly if you need to use it in a hurry.

Voila! You will have crispy, sweet slaw to serve with any meal.

If you want to do more research, just type freezer slaw or freezer cole slaw into your search engine, and you'll find a wealth of recipes.

The above photo is not a picture of my slaw, which is still in the making. It's a royalty free photo from FotoSearch.

Many vinegar based dishes will last in your refrigerator for a month. While you're investigating freezer slaw, look for recipes for these refrigerator treats: copper pennies and four bean salad. Another freezer dish to try is freezer cucumber pickles.



Julieann said...

Yummy!! I just love Coleslaw!!


Mimi said...

Have you ever tried freezer slaw? I hadn't made it in a while, and DH really was happy to have some tonight. I'm looking forward to having some in the freezer for meals to come.

Candi said...

What a great idea!!! I can't wait to give this a try!