Friday, May 09, 2008

Slaw and pizza muffins...

There are umpteen recipes out there for slaw - while most call for cabbage to make up the bulk of the mixture, we tend to like a crunchier texture and use broccoli slaw instead. That is exactly what I ended up doing when I made tonight's side dish of New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw.

This slaw leans more to the sweet versions out there with chunky pieces of Fuji apples and plump golden raisins. So you get that striking color contrast, be sure to leave the nutritious peel on the apple if you don't mind the added texture. To moisten and slightly soften the broccoli slaw (which is just shredded broccoli, carrots, red cabbage and sometimes cauliflower) is a combination of sour cream, mayonnaise, white balsamic vinegar and a dash of sugar.

To not give an off or dark color to this mixture, we used the white balsamic for that tangy bite - this is basically just a sweet white vinegar. It works well in uses like this or lighter sauces, but don't expect the same depth you get with regular dark balsamic. The original recipe called for a pound of the shredded slaw, but I only added about 12 ounces or so as there didn't seem to be enough coating for our tastes. I would recommend doing the same with either the broccoli slaw or regular cabbage - you may even want to bring it down to 8 or 10 ounces if you like it especially moist and creamy. Ready in just about 5 minutes, this snazzy side dish was crisp, light and very refreshing!

Since I didn't really menu plan for this week, I just picked out a few recipes before I went shopping mid-week without thinking much about what would work well together. I actually intended to make these Mini Greek Pizza Muffins to freeze and store for a quick savory snack, but we decided to have a few each and call it dinner.

Chopped onion and red bell pepper are first softened to start out the base flavor. This is done right away as the two need to cool down before adding the rest of the ingredients. To the cooled vegetables, milk, salty feta cheese, an egg, tomato paste and briny kalamata olives are whisked in. These went ingredients are stirred into the dry ingredients (which are a blend of whole-wheat pastry and all-purpose flours) and then scooped into tiny muffin cups - since you are filling 24 of them, just look for the cups to be about 2/3 full so you have enough to fill them all. Bake these until the centers spring back or when a toothpick placed in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached.

Enjoy these moist bites warm out of the oven or at room temperature - I found the flavor actually came through better when they were cooler. Jeff was not near the kitchen when I was preparing these, so I think he was a little surprised and a little disappointed when he saw me pulling these out of the oven and not the pizza he thought he smelled. After popping one of these in his mouth though, his face lit up and he stopped pouting! Being so concentrated, the two tablespoons of tomato paste added a nice punch of flavor that we thought helped to bring out the fresh oregano. The only change I might think about doing is adding a fresh garlic clove or two in with the onion and red pepper, rather than using the granulated garlic in the dry ingredients.


  1. That slaw looks great! What a great combination of flavors.

    Those pizza muffins look intriguing. They'd be perfect on a brunch buffet!

  2. Hi Joe,
    Do you think I could just use 2/3 cup of the whole wheat pastry flour?

  3. Hi, Joe. I wonder if you could use 2/3 cup of white whole wheat flour in the muffins? My only concern is that they might be too heavy, though. In any case, they look wonderful.

  4. SGCC - Thanks!

    Erin - Possibly, but the texture might be different.

    Nancy - I would go ahead and make that sub... I use white whole-wheat flour fairly often and it works well without making things too dense.

  5. The slaw recipe was really interesting to me on a couple of levels - I like the components of the dressing and have already assembled the ingredients.

    Except for the white balsamic vinegar, I'd never heard of this! Even though I live in a city, it's horribly food store deprived, which is why I will occasionally drive two hours to the nearest Trader Joe's....that's probably where I'll find the vinegar and also the FRESH CHERRIES! you used in those glorious sounding bars.


  6. Quinn - That is exactly where I picked it up... Trader Joe's!