Eastern North Carolina Style Cole Slaw by Bob Garner

Classic BBQ Sandwich and chips.

Classic BBQ Sandwich and chips.

Growing up in the heart of North Carolina, I was exposed to a lot of pork barbecue. Everybody has their own way of doing it and everyone has their own sauce. But there’s another necessary componant: cole slaw. Whether you’re eating your BBQ on a bun or as a “plate” with hushpuppies or corn bread, you have to have slaw. And there’s about as many recipes for slaw as there are for BBQ sauce. And I’m picky about mine. Oh, I’ll eat some kinds of slaw as a side dish. I’ve even had a pineapple-cole slaw that I liked. But if I’m eating it with or on pork BBQ…or on a hotdog  or with fried fish, for that matter, the recipe that follows is what I want! This recipe comes from a well known authority on North Carolina BBQ and it is spot on! I basically eyeballed my ingredients to make a half batch, because I’m not making it for a crowd. I wound up with enough to fill a two pound deli container. I also used dill pickle cubes instead of sweet, because I don’t keep sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish on hand. It’s still good, though, just not quite as sweet. Enjoy!  

Eastern North Carolina Coleslaw  by Bob Garner 

Half a head of cabbage, cut into pieces.

Half a head of cabbage, cut into pieces.

Bob says:This is my wife Ruthie’s recipe, and it’s typical of the coleslaw that’s served at pig pickings and fish fries along the Roanoke River in Halifax and Martin counties.“


1 medium-size, firm head of cabbage

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/3 cup mustard

3/4 cup sweet pickle cubes

2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Cole slaw dressing.

Cole slaw dressing.

Keep cabbage refrigerated until ready to use, and do not allow it to reach room temperature once you begin. Remove outer leaves and core from cabbage. Cut head in half and grate fine, using food processor or hand grater. (I used the “s” blade and pulsed in the processor.) In large bowl, combine cabbage, mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle cubes, vinegar, sugar and seasonings. Mix thoroughly and chill for one hour before serving.

On a bun with pulled pork BBQ and some sauce.

On a bun with pulled pork BBQ and some sauce.

Combined dressing with chopped cabbage.

Combined dressing with chopped cabbage.

Makes 20 servings


Pico de Mango

Originally published on August 2, 2013 MMM Foodies


Pico de Mango

          Mangoes. If you’ve ever had fresh mango, just the word evokes tropical breezes and the Carribean. They are sweet, with the texture of a slippery peach and they have a floral quality. Technically, this is a “pico”, not a salsa, because it’s completely raw. And this pico is a tropical delight! While delicious on a tortilla chip, this pico is absolutely scrumtious served on a nice piece of grilled fish, like mahi mahi! Same thing for fish tacos or a grilled fish burrito or with fish and rice. Pico de Mango would also work well with a pork chop or lamb chop. How about topping a barbecue or jerk chicken pizza? Stretch your imagination and send me YOUR ideas! Enjoy! (before the Summer slips away on a breeze…oops…maybe to recapture it!).


Dicing mango

2 Ripe Mangoes, diced

1 Medium Tomato, peeled, seeded, diced

1 c. Vidalia Onion, diced fine, soak in cold water

The pit has a little for the cook to nibble!

½ t. Chile Powder

½ t. Cumin Powder

1 pinch Kosher Salt

2 T. Fresh Lemon Juice

soak those onions!


Add some spice!

Drain onions. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss

together until everything is evenly distributed. Cover and store

in refrigerator until ready to use. Serve with tortilla chips, grilled

fish, grilled pork chop…or how about on a hotdog?! If you like more

heat, add a ¼ t. cayenne powder and/or a finely minced jalapeno.

Tweak it to suit your tastes and enjoy!