I'm often skeptical when people talk to me about their special versions of classic dishes using top-secret ingredients. Good, solid recipes are so often that way because of their classic simplicity. So months ago when my boyfriend offered to make me his special coleslaw with not one but two secret ingredients, I scoffed. I do stand corrected on the coleslaw. Sam's version is one that you can actually make a meal of, and we eat it for lunch often regardless of the season. The now not-so-secret ingredients are hard-boiled eggs and poppy seeds: the first giving it a little more heft and a welcome hit of protein, the poppy seeds lending it a delightful crunch. It is strewn with lots of fresh chopped parsley and a few capers so it has a little salty bite to it, too.
It is, hands down, one of my favorite things that Sam makes and ever since beginning to cook with him in the kitchen I've tried to slowly step out of the box and think through traditional dishes and what unlikely ingredients would make them really great.
Do you dress up classic dishes with an unlikely ingredient? Ever tried eggs in coleslaw?
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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