Featured Holiday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday (observed) – (First Monday in January) This day honors a great man in US history. He was a man who was very well educated, compassionate, and an outstanding leader. He fought hard for the civil rights of the African American people. He had tremendous courage and never wavered in his beliefs. Unfortunately, he was also hated by many. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 15th. Four days after his death, Congressman John Conyers, introduced legislation for a holiday honoring this esteemed man. After fifteen years with no progress…A petition with 6 million signatures was submitted to Congress. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law, that the third Monday in January The United States of America would celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. His actual birthday is January 15.

Since there are no specific recipes for this holiday…I have decided to include recipes from Dr. Kings’ favorite type of food, French Cuisine. I looked for some of the best. After all, his memory deserves no less!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Recipes:

Salade Niçoise

8 potatoes
4 tomatoes (sliced)
4 hard boiled eggs (quartered)
1 green pepper (sliced)
20 green olives
1 can of albacore tuna (drained and crushed)
12 anchovy fillets
1 shallot (minced)
1 tsp hot mustard
5 T. olive oil
3 T. vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

– Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water

– Meanwhile, prepare the sauce : mix the mustard, minced shallot, and vinigar. Slowly add olive oil, and salt & pepper.

– When potatoes are cooked, cool them under cold water and peel them. Cut them in thick slices. Gently put them in a big salad bowl and cover with half of the sauce.

– Mix eggs with olives and anchovies.

– Gently add all the ingredients to the potatoes except the egg mixture.

-Mix all with great care (you don’t want to crush the potato slices) then top the salad with the egg quarters and the rest of sauce.

Cheese & Chive Fondue

6 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Gruyère
2 cups grated Cheddar
2 Tablespoons chopped, fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper

Serve with: small cooked sausages, cooked fingerling potatoes, use your imagination.

1. Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan or fondue pot. Add onion and cook slowly until softened – about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour; then stir in the sour cream and cook for about 2 minut

3. Add the cheeses and cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth.

4. Add the chives and season with the pepper.

5. Pour the fondue into a fondue pot and place over the lit burner.

CREME BRULEE (my personal favorite)

8 egg yokes
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure bourbon vanilla
1/4 c. granulated white sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yokes and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

Divide mixture among 6 ramekins. Place in a 13×9 inch pan filled with enough water that the ramekins are emerged halfway in the water. Bake until set around the edges, but loose in the center…about 50 minutes to an hour. Longer for larger ramekins. Remove from the oven and leave in the 13×9 with water until cool. Chill for 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Just before serving, sprinkle about 2 tsp. of sugar over each. To caramelize the sugar, use a small hand held torch until sugar is melted and golden brown ( take your time). Serve.

NOTE: If you do not have a hand held torch; you can broil them. Place the custards on baking sheet, no more than 5 inches away from heat. Turn if needed. WATCH CLOSELY!

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