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Rattlesnake Coleslaw

This is an old-fashioned sweet and sour coleslaw, perfect for the Fourth of July. Can be made several days ahead. Add a minced jalapeno to give it a Texas nip.

1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground celery seed
1 tablespoon ground or crushed caraway seed
1 5-pound head green or red cabbage
1 or 2 jalapenos, minced (optional)
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, caraway, pepper and celery seed.

Core and quarter the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Shred it, using the food processor's slicing blade or a four-sided grater's slicing holes, or very thinly slice it with a sharp knife, about 1/16-inch thick. Spread a thin layer of it over a large colander or a perforated grill pan set on a baking rack. Sprinkle it with some of the spice mix. Repeat with layers of cabbage and spice mix until all of the cabbage and spice have been used. Place several layers of newspaper beneath and allow mixture to weep for 2 hours.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the vinegars and olive oil. Mix well. Refrigerate overnight or up to 1 week. Mix again, then adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Pour off some of the dressing if desired. Makes 2 quarts, 16 servings.

"Cooking for All Seasons" by Jimmy Schmidt

Thursday, July 01, 1999

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