Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Red Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Hot Asian Slaw with Bacon

A couple weeks ago we went to Watt's Grocery ( a favorite restaurant here in Durham) for Heidi's birthday brunch.  I ordered the Oyster Po Boy and it arrived at the table with an unusual warm red cabbage salad.  Chef Amy called it "chow chow", but I always imagined chow chow to be more like a spicy pickle relish.  No, this was more like a hot cabbage slaw and I just loved it!  I could have eaten an entire vat of the stuff!

So yesterday I was making Shrimp and Bacon Po Boys for Fat Tuesday and I decided to see if I could recreate Chef Amy's "chow chow".  I think mine turned out even better than the original! 

At Watts grocery the "chow chow" was made with just red cabbage and didn't have any acid in the dish.  I decided to use a combination of Red cabbage and brussels sprouts (which inreality are just tiny little cousins of the cabbage).  I made a very basic Asian dressing for the slaw and tossed in some crumbled bacon.  AMAZING!  So delicious and so easy and a really unique alternative to the same old ubiquitous mayonaisse-based cole slaw.  This is also good at room temperature!

Red Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Hot Asian Slaw with Bacon
serves 4

1/2 pound brussels sprouts thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 pound red cabbage thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3 slices bacon
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper for seasoning

In a large skillet, fry bacon until crisp, drain bacon on paper towels and reserve.  Pour off all bacon fat except about 1 Tbsp.  Return pan to heat and add butter to bacon fat.  Once butter is melted, add cabbage and brussels sprouts, stir fry over medium high heat until cabbage begins to wilt and brussels sprouts are a bright green color.  In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, balsamic vinegar and sesame oil, mix until sugar is dissolved, then add to cabbage in hot pan and cook for 2 minutes tossing to combine.  Crumble bacon over slaw and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

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