Slawterfest for best coleslaw

The battle for the best coleslaw – the results on this one might surprise you.

Photo credit: Alan Nudi

Game Night 05-06-15: Slawterfest

  • Competition was for the best coleslaw.
  • Other food enjoyed were grilled sausages and chicken (I marinated my chicken in Sriracha sauce for the first time and it was awesome), pasta salad (bacon switched out for ham) and cherry cheesecake.
  • Games played were: Sentinels of the Multiverse, King of Tokyo, and Bang!.
Serious King of Tokyo action going on here.

The contenders:

  • Andrew Hodges with bagged cabbage and store-bought coleslaw dressing
  • Peggy Hodges with Spicy Slaw
  • Kristi LaMonica with Kristi’s Coleslaw

The judges:

  • Alan Nudi
  • Erin Nudi
  • Ryan Nudi
  • Tara Nudi
  • Melissa Severson
Photo credit: Alan Nudi

Judged on:

  • Presentation: 10%
  • Slaw to Dressing Ratio: 10%
  • Crunch Factor: 10%
  • Mouthfeel: 20%
  • Overall Flavor: 50%

Andrew’s coleslaw:

Peggy’s coleslaw:

Kristi’s coleslaw:

Final score out of 250 points:

  • Andrew’s coleslaw: 214
  • Peggy’s coleslaw: 199
  • Kristi’s coleslaw: 175

The recipes used:

Are you ready for this? Andrew used store-bought coleslaw dressing and mixed it with bagged cabbage.

No, I’m not done yet.

He didn’t actually make it himself. Nor was he able to make game night.

And he actually won. His sister Peggy both made and brought the slaw. So when he won, she really won.

Photo credit: Alan Nudi

Peggy’s own coleslaw comes from Food Network’s spicy slaw. It included onions, Creole mustard, cider vinegar, and celery seeds.

Kristi’s recipes was as follows:

  • Make your own mayonnaise, preferably with a stick blender and a vessel to blend the mayonnaise in. Incubate a room temperature egg with 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice times 2 at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, shred a whole green cabbage – she uses a mandolin on the finest setting – into a large bowl. Add a medium sized yellow onion cut into quarters.
  • Peel 5 carrots and shred using a box grater and add to cabbage; salt cabbage generously with kosher salt.
  • Finish the mayonnaise: egg and lemon juice added for blending, with a generous amount of kosher salt, 1/4 tbsp mustard powder, and 1 1/2 cups extra light olive oil; blend with stick blender. (This method will not work with a food processor.)
  • Add first batch of mayonnaise to slaw and start second batch. Mix the mayonnaise into slaw, adding white vinegar to taste. Add salt, pepper, and more mayonnaise as needed.

Comments from judges:

  • Most people either really liked Andrew’s, or really liked Kristi’s; Peggy’s seemed to fall somewhere in the middle.
  • Some people grew up with tangy slaw; others, sweet. I’m the former category. I literally took one bite of Andrew’s and could not eat anymore.*

*Normally I wouldn’t be so brutal in my critique, but it was bottled dressing and bagged cabbage. And he didn’t even make it himself.

I don’t know why I didn’t like Peggy’s more. I like onion in coleslaw. I like mustard. I like celery seeds. And the texture was spot-on – not as soggy as the other two. So what happened?

As per usual, after I examine each category I’m judging in, I have to sit back and ask, what do I want to eat more of? In this case, it was Kristi’s, undoubtedly. However, the majority did not agree with me.

Part of the fun with these competitions is how everyone has different tastes and preferences – for this one, it seemed to rely on what kind of coleslaw you grew up with as a kid.

Up next game night: A burger competition is being discussed – we’ll report on the official decision later!