Last Saturday night we had friends over to grill Berkshire pork chops and drink cheladas. Our friend Adam, who has a superb fashion piece on that disturbing neighbor kid from Mad Men in tomorrow’s Los Angeles Times (preview: the kid wears a monocle in real life; he’s 8), brought over some Mexican slaw. But not just any slaw. This was super delicious, super spicy, roasted tomatillo slaw from the Jimtown Store Cookbook. You roast garlic, tomatillos and chiles for smoky spicy heat, while jicama and cabbage give a refreshing crunch. It takes slaw to a new level.
And it was great the next day in pork tacos with sliced up pork from a leftover chop. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, The Jimtown Cookbook is one you should have in your arsenal. Here’s the slaw recipe to give you a taste of just how inspired these recipes are, while being very rustic and unpretentious—just plain GOOD.
Roasted Tomatillo Slaw
From The Jimtown Store Cookbook
4 ounces (about 4) tomatillos, husked
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 serrano chile, split, most of the seeds removed
6 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup coarsley chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup corn oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cups finely hand-shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 medium cabbage)
2 cups julienned jicama
2 cups julienned carrots
Lime wedges for serving
Line a heavy medium skillet with foil and set over moderate heat. Add the tomatillos, garlic, and serrano chile and roast, shaking the pan and turning the vegetables occasionally, until all are brown and soft, about 5 minutes for the serrano and up to 20 minutes for the tomatillos and garlic. Remove the chile when it is done, and set aside. Remove the garlic from the pan. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, peel it.
In a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic, serrano, cilantro, scallions, salt, sugar, pepper, and vinegar. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the oil through the feed tube.
In a medium bowl, toss the cabbage, jicama, and carrots with the dressing. Serve immediately, if you like your slaw crunchy, or let your slaw sit for up to 1 hour to soften a bit. Adjust the seasoning just before serving. Squeeze a little lime for extra zing.