In honor of Martin Luther King Day, Chef Marcus Samuelsson will attempt to recreate a meal that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was scheduled to have on the day he was assassinated. On April 4, 1968, MLK had planned to have dinner with Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles in Memphis. The dinner, to be prepared by women in Kyles’ congregation, included Southern favorites like fried chicken, ham, sweet potatoes, and sweet potato pie, and was later known as “The meal that never was.” Today at his restaurant in Harlem, Red Rooster, Samuelsson will pay tribute to MLK with a meal based on that menu.
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We liked the last dish from Marcus Samuelsson‘s book so much we decided to give it another try this week. M is a big fan of yogurt sauces, so we were intrigued by a recipe for a yogurt sauce introduced by Indian immigrants to South Africa during the late 19th century. The dish is intended to take some of the heat off the spicy South African fare, while adding a good dose of tangy flavor at the same time.
Ingredients (Makes 1 1/2 cups):
3 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 chili (he recommends jalapeño), seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp. chopped cilantro
2 tsp. chopped parsely
Salt and fresh black pepper
Set a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl (we used our colander and a sturdy paper towel). Add the yogurt, cover with plastic wrap, and let drain at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or leave in a refrigerator overnight. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili and saute until the garlic is golden (about 5 minutes). Add the coriander and cumin and saute until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Let cool briefly, then transfer to a blender, add the lime juice and drained yogurt, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the cilantro and parsely. Season with salt and pepper.
We have to say, this yogurt sauce is fantastic. Its smooth and tangy, with just the right combination of spices. It would be great on a salad, or wrapped in a gyro with grilled steak or chicken strips. It should store well for at least four days, so we will have to cook up some dishes later this week that make use of our new culinary find. The best part? 7-minute preparation time, all from ingredients we usually have readily available – only cumin was esoteric enough to warrant a grocery trip. We’ll definitely be making this again, possibly alongside another recipe from this great book.