I’m a little resentful of the powerful role that photography plays in today’s cooking. If I search a recipe on Pinterest, the results I’m most likely to click on are the crisp, bright, professional looking ones. Occasionally I’ll look over the recipe on the site I get sent to only to realize it’s poorly written, missing steps, or made with artificial ingredients I don’t routinely use (cake mix, seasoning packets, etc). Why do we make such a direct connection between good photography and good cooking? The two are actually completely unrelated.
I just finished making this slaw and I literally couldn’t stop eating it – even as I was tucking it away in Tupperware to pull out for tonight’s dinner, I was grabbing at strands of cabbage. It’s spicy, sweet, nutty, and crunchy with tender bites of chicken and hits of zesty lime and cilantro. Unfortunately, that delicious dressing is a drab brown color which, when tossed with the pretty veggies, made the whole shebang quite un-pretty. I could have plated the salad and drizzled the dressing on top, but I like when every bite is perfectly coated, and I wanted anyone who uses this recipe to enjoy it as much as I did. Ipso facto, my photo is ugly. I tried to garnish with cilantro and lime wedges but it was like putting lipstick on a pig.
Bottom line here, don’t judge a book by it’s cover (or a recipe by it’s featured image). Just read over these ingredients and you’ll see that, though the end result isn’t necessarily the most exquisite presentation, it’s a can’t miss flavor concoction you’re sure to love.
Cabbage and Chicken Slaw with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Sriracha
2 tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 head finely sliced green cabbage
2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
2 carrots, shaved lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
Lime wedges for serving
1. Whisk lime juice, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, honey and garlic in a small mixing bowl.
2. Mix meat, cabbage, cilantro and carrot in a large mixing bowl.
3. Toss dressing with cabbage mixture until evenly coated and serve with lime wedges and a few cilantro leaves for color. Alternately, spoon peanut dressing onto plates and mound salad on top; drizzle with more dressing. Serve with lime wedges.