Friday, September 7, 2012

A Nice Addition to Any Late Summer BBQ: Mango Cucumber Slaw



In an effort to reinvent barbeque sides I have given you what I deem to be several really great recipes as substitutes for the same old baked beans and potato salad.  As a matter of fact, I've even given my favorite recipes for those too.  Summer is winding down and like white shoes after Labor Day, barbeque posts will soon be out of fashion, so I'm going to try to sneak one more under the wire. 

Back in 2006 I competed in the Southern Living Cook-Off.  As in every cook-off I have competed in, I was fortunate to have met some really talented home cooks, many of whom I have known on-line for years either by reputation or as friends on Facebook. 

As you can probably imagine, Southern Living Magazine really put on one great cook-off hosting 15 finalists and their guests to three memorable days in Charleston, South Carolina.  I feel so fortunate to have been chosen especially since the cook-off was held for only one more year after I was there.  I continue to keep my fingers crossed that they'll decided to start it back up one day.

One of the cooks involved in this particular cook-off was Edwina Gadsby.  I had known of her and her husband Bob by their sterling reputation for recipe development for a couple of years at this point.  They are both big winners in the contesting world and deservedly so.  I haven't seen a recipe of theirs yet that I wouldn't want to make over and over.

Her simple recipe for Grilled Sweet Chili Chicken with Mango-Cucumber Slaw in the Healthy and Good For You category, was a real stand out for its fresh and easy preparation.  True to form, it won its category and the $10,000 prize that went along with it. 

I am happy to say that my entry in the Southern Desserts Category for Baby Sweet Potato Cakes won my category as well, but still fell short of the $100,000 grand prize.  That prize went to a pan of Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls that I must admit I have still not made, but I plan to someday. By the way, I secretly believe deep down that the judges got their sweet potato recipes mixed up and really meant to crown me the big winner.  Maybe next time.

Oh yeah, back to my point.  I have been making Edwina's slaw recipe for all these years now and everytime I make it I am always delighted at how great it seems to go with everything.  I love pairing it with fresh grilled corn on the cob, or if I am cooking for a hungry group I think that old Jiffy Cornbread Cheesy Spoonbread or deep fried mac and cheese are killer additions to tone that healthy thing down a bit.

So if you are still grilling up fresh and easy meals for these beautiful late summer nights, I really encourage you to give this recipe a try.  If you would like to try it with its perfect pairing, please click here for Edwina's grilled chicken recipe.  Thanks for another great one Edwina!


Mango-Cucumber Slaw

Edwina's original recipe is the best, but when time is of the essence I often buy a large bag of pre-shredded cole slaw mix to speed things up a bit.  I don't think she'll mind.

3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients until sugar dissolves.  Pour over cabbage mixture, and toss to coat.

Cover and chill 1 hour. 

Makes 7 cups

Oh, and by the way, another one of my contesting friends at this cook-off was Lorie over at Mississippi Kitchen.  If you would like to see some beautiful photos and delicious recipes you really should stop by her blog and feast your eyes.
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