“Collards” and Hot Pepper Sauce For the King

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It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and as I write the menu for my clients this morning I am distracted by the incredible history of this nation; in particular, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech– I Have a Dream to “make real the promises of democracy” are as important and profound today as they were then…

On a day as meaningful as this, making a favorite food of Martin Luther King’s feel right– and sounds delicious. Southern food is steeped in America herself; a multitude of cultures and tastes stewing together in life’s big, messy ‘melting pot’.

Martin Luther King Jr. was from the South and loved Southern food, his favorites– pecan pie, fried chicken, candied sweet potatoes, and collard greens.

Let’s cook some collards!

“Collards” and Hot Pepper Sauce for the King

Ingredients

2 Bunches of Collard Greens

1 Large Sweet Onion

4 Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1/8 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tsp Sugar

1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika

2 Tbs Olive Oil

Equipment

1 Large Pot

1 Stovetop

Let’s go!

Wash your collard greens of all sand and grit by giving them a good soak in a bath of cold water, at least 10 minutes. Next, spread them on a kitchen towel to dry.

Remove the ribs (the center of the leaves) with a knife, or by hand. Stack the leaves and roll into giant cigar shapes and slice crosswise into fat ribbons (otherwise known as chiffonade, in French cooking). Cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces.

They should look like this!

Next– thinly slice your onion and toss into a large pot with the collard greens.

Add paprika, sugar, cider vinegar, chicken broth, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and put a lid on it.

Turn the flame to medium-low and set your timer to 10 minutes.

Stir your greens.

Set your timer to another 10 minutes

Stir your greens.

No, big deal if you get a little color on the bottom of the pan. It’s actually pretty good for color and flavor.

Hot Pepper Sauce!

Hot Pepper Sauce does one thing– brightens up any dish and pairs very well with stewed greens. The piquant vinegar and tender, spicy peppers spoon beautifully over “Collards”.

Ingredients

2 Jalapeños

1 Tsp-Tbs Chili Flakes (how hot do you want it?!)

1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tsp Sugar

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Olive Oil

Equipment

Small pot

Here’s how!

Wash and dry peppers and slice thin. Measure remaining ingredients and add everything to a small, stainless steel pot. Bring all of it to a simmer for 5 MINUTES and let cool. And you’re done.

Store in a jar for a couple of weeks and spoon over grilled and roasted meats and fish, or as condiment for fried rice (YUM). Oh, but they’re won’t be any left!

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