Chef John Besh’s book, Besh Big Easy, is full of easy-to-make recipes. The kind that I like. Southern- and Louisiana-inspired. Take this wonderful country coleslaw. It has your ‘usual’ ingredients, but with a twist (to me, at least). I’ve never had sweet pickle relish in a slaw, and I found it to be absolutely fantastic. So is the addition of rice wine vinegar. Great flavors out of such a simple dish. That’s key.I wouldn’t be afraid to add fresh jalapeno rings to this country coleslaw. Anita would tell me to not do it, though. I’d have to add it to my bowl and just enjoy the heat on my own. For more heat, try my firecracker slaw.
Servings 10 -12 servings
- 1 head cabbage chopped or sliced thin
- 1 onion chopped or sliced thin
- 2 I used 6 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt and ly ground black pepper to taste
Place the cabbage, onion, green onions, relish and carrot into a large bowl. Mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add to vegetables and fold to combine.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
I can’t recall the first time I saw Chef John Besh on TV. Perhaps it was on Top Chef Master, or on his really, really great PBS show. Or maybe it was competing on The Next Iron Chef. But, it really doesn’t matter where it was, because the result was the same. I could tell instantly that Chef Besh was real. I could trust him. I could believe his stories. I could fall in love with his food. Nothing about the chef was over-the-top or staged. He was sincere about his passion for food, and that’s very, very important to me. I think that passion comes across in every dish. You know, like when your grandma says “this was made with love”. Same sort of thing.
So of course when Chef Besh’s new cookbook (his fourth so far), Besh Big Easy 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes came out for the Kindle I grabbed up a digital copy, and like the dishes I’d end up making from the cookbook, I devoured ever word.
There are so many great recipes in Besh Big Easy 101 that I can’t even begin to describe them. Many are rooted in tradition. Recipes from friends or family or traditional recipes that you’d associate with the Gulf region. Most contain ingredients that I can find here in Indianapolis, so I don’t have to worry about the cookbook sitting on my shelf (or in my Kindle) gathering dust. I reference it often.
Each recipe starts out with a hint, or saying, or some relevant passage about the dish. Such as “whenever we’re lucky enough to have a crawfish boil, one of the added benefits is the potato salad that we make the next day from the small red potatoes that were boiled in all those delicious spices.”. You feel more connected to Chef Besh and his food, and hey, the tips are great too! Besh Big Easy 101 is a great read and a great reference.
Besh Big Easy 101 scores high on the ‘Mater Rater scale.
For more of my reviews of cookbooks available for the Amazon Kindle readers, visit Kindle Thyme.