We couldn't wait. We had to have Thanksgiving dinner a bit early.
Simple Ginger Cranberry Sauce: Simmer 1 bag of cranberries with 1 cup sugar, juice and zest of 1 orange and 3/4 tsp. ground ginger until berries pop. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
In particular, we just couldn't wait to make Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Apples, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, and Ginger Cranberry Sauce. Especially the stuffing. In our family, it is always about the stuffing.
Photo by Gary Silberberg
I won't be cooking on the actual Thanksgiving Day, but I couldn't resist making a few old favorite recipes to kick off the holiday season.
If I were hosting the big spread this year, the first thing I would do is make some Cayenne Pepper Wafers
. My mother's recipe for this spicy gruyere cracker is a must for that first toast of Champagne.
Cayenne pepper wafers are a decidedly grown-up sort of cracker. They make a nice hostess gift.
If you need vegetable inspiration, I would turn to the blog Orangette
, and check out her recipe (actually Molly Stevens' recipe) for Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts
, which I dress up for the holidays with some pomegranate seeds.
For a unique salad, I would make the Kale Salad with Apples and Walnuts
from Tori Ritchie's blog Tuesday Recipe
. I have not made this yet, but my friend Catherine made it for me, and I couldn't stop eating it. It's crunchy and fresh, the perfect Thanksgiving salad.
The magpies have discovered my star anise wreath, and have been carting the spices off one by one. By Christmas it will be bare.
For dessert, I would skip the pie crust from scratch, and the 3 kinds of pie for a simpler end to the meal. Have you seen all that snow out there, by the way? Don't you want to be spending a lovely chunk of the day out in it? I would simply poach red wine in figs (see last post), and serve it with ice cream or sweet ricotta. Since there must be pie, I would pick up a Pear Frangipagne Tart from the Persephone Bakery here in Jackson. When it comes to pie, it just doesn't get any better than this.
Yesterday on Teton Pass.
Thanksgiving can get complicated. Stuffing should be simple. Here's my tried and true recipe for stuffing that can be doubled or tripled. It gets its personality from the type of sausage you choose...spicy Italian, sweet pork, you decide.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage and Apples
serves 10-12, easily doubled
This recipe was adapted from that of Pam Anderson in her book Perfect Recipes for Having People Over.
- 1 pound crusty bread, such as Harvest Organic Sourdough Bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 pound bulk sweet or hot Italian sausage, or breakfast sausage
- 1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 2 medium onion, cut into medium dice (about 2 cups)
- 2 celery stalks, cut into medium dice (about 1 cup)
- 4 small or 2 medium tart apples, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- a few spoonfuls of pan drippings from the turkey
- Cut the bread into cubes, cutting off the crusts if you like (I like to leave the crusts) and spread them in a single layer on two baking sheets. Leave to dry overnight, or toast in the oven at 300ºF for 15 minutes or until crispy and dry.
- Turn the oven temperature up to 400ºF.
- In a large skillet, fry the sausage until it has broken down into small pieces, and there is no more pink remaining. Drain in a colander and pour off most of the grease from the pan.
- Using the same skillet, sauté the onions, celery, and apples in the pan juices, adding butter if you need to, until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
- Place the sausage, onions, celery, apples, bread cubes, and the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well.
- Turn the stuffing into a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until steamy hot, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, drizzle with pan drippings from the turkey if you like, and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the top is crusty. Try not to eat too much of that crusty goodness before you bring it to the table.
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I know you will want to make these Tuscan Lemon Muffins as soon as you come in from the snow, so make sure you have some ricotta cheese and a nice lemon or two around the house. If you can splurge on a few of those organic Meyer lemons that are in the grocery now, all the better. The rind is what makes this muffin so lemony.
I have a weakness for any baking project that involves lemon zest, olive oil and ricotta. Although I don't ever recall having a muffin like this in Italy, the flavors are there, and that's all that matters.
What would you do with a platter of figs? was the question I posed to my Facebook friends last week. I found there are lots of fig enthusiasts out there.
You will need less than a cup of ricotta cheese for the muffins, so you will likely have some leftover, unless you keep making muffins every day like I did. The leftover ricotta can be transformed into a ridiculously easy dessert of Sweet Ricotta and Wine-Poached Figs, which I was inspired to make after hiking with a friend the other day.
Hiking with girlfriends has always been a great source of recipes for me. I've known Renee for a long time, but until we hiked I did not know that: a. she is a foodie and an amazing cook, b. she was raised in an Italian-American household, and still makes pasta with her dad, and c. she has a passion for ricotta which, like me, she prefers homemade, but uses so much of the stuff that she often resorts to store-bought.
Renee makes this quick dessert by mixing ricotta with sugar (not too much), orange zest, and the scrapings of a vanilla bean. She serves it with a fresh berry compote, and slices of ciabbata bread that have been toasted with cinnamon and sugar. Yes, like a cinnamon toast bruschetta!
After hiking with Renee, I literally ran home and made this Sweet Ricotta. Luckily, I have been making a lot of Tuscan Lemon Muffins, so there's always a tub of ricotta around.
My fresh fig habit is getting expensive. I'll have to switch to dried soon.
I didn't have any berries, but I did have these figs, which I had been rationing out two at a time for breakfast, atop toast smeared with ricotta. I had just enough left to make a compote to go with my new sweet ricotta dessert.
This is my idea of breakfast.
I don't have a formal recipe for the poached figs, but you don't really need one. I took the remains of last night's red wine (about 1 1/2 cups), some honey, a cinnamon stick and a few whole star anise. I simmered it until it became quite syrupy, and then added the fresh figs, and cooked them in the poaching liquid at a very low heat for about 10 minutes. I don't see why you couldn't use dried figs for this, and just poach them a little longer.
Red wine, honey, star anise and a cinnamon stick will set the scene for the holidays.
Poaching fruit in red wine and spices will fill your house with a nice holiday vibe, which will hopefully get you into the right frame of mind for all that cooking you will no doubt be doing in the next few weeks. Embrace it.
Fresh figs are delicate, so don't poach them too long or too vigorously.
Sweet Ricotta with Wine-Poached Figs and a slice of orange.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Tuscan Lemon Muffins
Makes 24 regular muffins, or about 36 mini muffins.
I have made this muffin with both whole milk ricotta and part-skim ricotta, and it always turns out with a perfect, tender crumb. The original recipe from Cooking Light magazine calls for part skim ricotta, no doubt to get the calorie count down.
I have made no alterations for altitude. Next time I think I will add orange zest and vanilla, and call them Sicilian Orange Muffins.
This recipe was written by Maureen Callahan, and published in the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (8 ounces if you like to weigh)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup part-skim or whole milk ricotta
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium or 2 small lemons to make: 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Prepare the muffin tin by lining with cupcake liners, then spraying the whole pan with cooking spray.
3. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife. Place into a medium mixing bowl.
4. Add the sugar, baking powder, and salt to the flour and mix well.
5. Measure the ricotta into a liquid measuring cup, and then add it to the flour mixture. Add the water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg, and stir just until moistened and all the flour has been incorporated. Don’t overmix.
6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes for regular muffins, or 11 minutes for mini-muffins. Use a wooden skewer to test for doneness.
8. Cool, and sprinkle with a bit more turbinado sugar.
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I didn't have any vanilla beans for my sweet ricotta, so I used a teaspoon of this vanilla bean paste. Thick and rich, the paste smells like the inside of a vanilla bean. Ask for some for Christmas this year!
Like most of you, I've been getting very picky about where my meat comes from. Hunting and harvesting wild game is relatively straightforward, compared to buying meat from the supermarket these days.
The boys did well on their antelope hunt this fall. This little Pronghorn will provide us with much lean meat, for which we are grateful. Unlike most commercial meat products, we know exactly where this antelope is from.
Are you no longer content with cling-wrapped cuts of meat on foam trays with cryptic labels, such as "contains pork products from Canada and the USA"? Unless you subsist only on game meat, like many in Wyoming and Idaho do, it's time to get to know a butcher.
I recently attended a demonstration of butchery at the Aspens Market here in Jackson. If I had never fully grasped the meaning of "nose-to-tail" meat processing before, this two hour class, in which we watched Josh and Morgan butcher a freshly harvested pig, surely drove the point home.
Josh and Morgan bisect the pig with a handsaw, as fellow classmate Bill looks on.
This pig was raised just outside of Teton County at Robinson Family Farms in Bedford, Wyoming. You may have met the Robinson family at the Jackson Hole Farmers' Market on the Town Square this summer. One of their pigs was the star attraction at a pig roast I attended last summer, where it was barbecued all afternoon in an aluminum box (La Caja China) under a bed of coals, but that's another story.
Maho and Sambo demonstrate how to flip a pig in a Caja China without spilling your mojito. Doesn't summer seems like such a long time ago?
Seeing all the meat that comes from butchering a pig is an eye-opening experience. This pig was raised humanely, put down gently, and almost none of it will go to waste. Only 3 pounds of our over-300 pound pig ended up in the trash; apparently there are some porcine glands that you just don't want to eat.
The butchers at the Aspens Market know their meat. You may remember Josh and Joel
who I introduced you to last May, who trained in Italy with Dario Cecchini, the famous "singing butcher" of Panzano. Now Morgan Brownlow has joined the team, a chef/restauranteur/butcher with an interest in charcuterie. He demonstrated how to cure the pig's jowl to make guanciale, and how to massage the ham in preparation for making prosciutto, a process that takes up to two years.
Morgan massages the ham of the pig, which releases the blood and tenderizes the meat, in preparation for making prosciutto.
The pig's jowl is cured with salt, pepper, sugar and lots of secret spices for a month, then hung for another month to make guanciale.
Whole animal butchery is getting a lot of press in the national news as a fresh fleet of young butchers, male and female, are opening their own neighborhood butcher shops. Earlier this month in the New York Times, "The Lost Art of Buying from a Butcher"
illustrates how the average consumer will have to learn how to order meat, after decades of having the meat presented precut and packaged at the supermarket.
If you want to eat locally-raised, humanely treated, pasture-grazing animals that have never seen a feedlot, there are lots of choices in our community. Besides the whole animal butchery going on at the Aspens Market
, local meats can be found at Jackson Whole Grocer
and Pearl St. Meat and Fish
here in Jackson. If you prefer to shop at the supermarkets, you can find all sorts of local meats. Just ask the butcher on duty; they should know where the meat comes from and how it is processed.
Momofuku ramen noodle soup with shredded pork shoulder, nori, a generous dose of Sriracha, and a slow-poached egg. The perfect meal to combat the mid-November chill.
My foray into pig butchery inspired me to make a big batch of Momofuku Ramen Noodle Soup with Roasted and Shredded Pork Shoulder, like the soup you would definitely order if you were walking through Chinatown in San Francisco, Chicago or New York, and you saw a tiny noodle shop packed with happy diners slurping their noodles and tilting their bowls to catch every last drop of broth. At least that was the soup I had in mind.
It's nice to have lots of hands in the kitchen to make dumplings. Jack and Nick have great technique; only a few of their dumplings exploded.
After the butchery class, I brought home a fresh bundle of ground pork, which meant we had to make some Ginger Pork Potstickers. I recruited some help in the kitchen for this project; dumplings should not be made alone.
Jack uses a dumpling mold to speed up the process while Gunner longingly eyes the fragrant pork.
High quality meats from an artisanal butcher can be expensive, but he or she can also offer you many economical choices. The ground pork for my dumplings was not expensive at all. For my Ramen project, Morgan chose a handful of meaty pork bones that would be the base for the broth (cost: under $5). Josh found me an end piece of Benton's bacon, an integral ingredient for giving the broth its smokey, salty depth (cost: $4.50). Then Joel boned and skinned a generous piece of the picnic shoulder ($5.99/lb.), which I rubbed with equal parts Kosher salt and sugar, let marinate for half the day, then slow roasted for about six hours. Shredding the meat gave me enough to feed my entire neighborhood Ramen Noodle Soup, with leftovers. (I'll have that recipe ready for you soon, very soon, I promise, because I know you will need to make Ramen this month.)
I bought plenty of natural pasture-raised beef from Tucker of Teton Waters Ranch in Idaho at the Farmer's Market this summer. Buying directly from the rancher can certainly save you money, and their beef is some of the best I've ever had.
If you want to save a bundle on local natural meats, buy directly from the farmer and have an independent butcher process it as you like. Derek Ellis at Ellis Custom Meats
in Driggs, Idaho processes wild game and locally harvested animals. He sources organic grass fed lambs from Lava Lake Lamb, which you can buy by the half or the whole. After consulting with Derek, he transformed my half lamb into 30 pounds of stew meat for curries, shanks, ribs, loins and chops, a butterflied and boned leg, and his own recipe of amazingly lemony and aromatic lamb sausage. I also requested plain ground lamb, which I'll use in stir fries, empanadas, moussakas and burgers.
You may remember meeting Derek last year on my blog, "A Foodie Day in Teton Valley".
Derek also processed the pig I went in on with friends last summer. A 4-H pig raised by a kid I've known since preschool, "Christopher's Pig" as we call it around here, was lovingly cared for all summer, then auctioned off at the county fair. With Derek's guidance, I ordered ground pork, breakfast sausage, hot Italian sausage, a smoked ham, smoked hocks, a picnic and a butt, the tenderloin, and lots of smokey thick-cut bacon. He even smoked the ear for my dogs, and cured the cheek for my very own hunk of guanciale, which is my secret ingredient in soups, risottos and pasta. We are loving every ounce of Christopher's Pig.
A dumpling press can save a bit of time when making a large batch of dumplings, but it is not essential. I found this press at Belle Cosa in Jackson, Wyoming. I adore Belle Cosa.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Ginger Pork Potstickers
It is essential to have a good source of freshly ground pork to make these potstickers. Ask your butcher to grind the meat for you, but not too coarsely.
This recipe comes from Rick and Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures, a book that Rick Bayless wrote with his teenage daughter.
Makes about 40 dumplings.
Ginger Pork Potstickers are pan-fried for crispness, then steamed in the same pan to cook through.
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 green onions, cut into 1/4 pieces
- 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 pound lean ground pork (or use turkey or chicken)
- 1/3 small head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced, about 3 cups
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- About 40 round dumpling wrappers (gyoza wrappers or dumpling skins)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided, for frying
- Potsticker Dipping Sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
These dumplings are stuffed with lots of crunchy Napa cabbage, but any green cabbage will do them justice.
- Place the minced garlic, chopped green onions, and grated ginger into a medium bowl and mix well.
- Add the sliced cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pork.
- Set out a large baking sheet or tray for your dumplings. Set out a small bowl of water for dipping your fingers into. Cover the dumpling wrappers with a wet towel, and keep them covered while you work so that they don't dry out.
- To make a dumpling, place a wrapper in the palm of your hand (or onto a dumpling press). Use your other hand to dip a finger into the water, and moisten the outside rim of the wrapper evenly. Place one tablespoon of filling neatly in the center. Fold the dumpling so that the edges meet in a semicircle. Now fold and pleat to seal.
- Place the dumpling on its side on the tray, and shape slightly so that it is lying flat. Cover with a moist towel and continue until all the dumplings are done.
- Set a large (10 inch) skillet that has a lid over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil into the pan. When shimmering, carefully lay the dumplings into the oil, making sure they are not packed tightly. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side.
- Now carefully add about 1/2 cup water to the skillet and cover. Shake the pan to be sure the dumplings aren't sticking. Cook for 6 minutes with the lid closed, and then 2 more with the lid off until all the water has evaporated from the pan. Remove, and keep warm.
- Wipe out the skillet, heat and add another tablespoon of oil, and cook the next batch.
- Mix the Dipping Sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and serve with the hot dumplings.
This dumpling has too much filling; it won't seal properly and will burst when you try to cook it. Make sure there is no filling touching the sealed edges.
To freeze dumplings for another day, place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure they are not touching, and freeze. Once solid, place them in plastic baggies. To cook, drop them into boiling water, and remove when they float to the top. Drain until very dry, and then sauté in hot oil as above.
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: full service butcher market and charcuterieEllis Custom Meats
: Derek is an independent butcher, specializing in sourcing local animals, processing wild game, and creating artisanal meats and sausagesLava Lake Lamb
: natural, grass-fed lamb from Idaho; buy direct from their website, or through Ellis Custom Meats. Visit their website for lamb recipes galore.Teton Waters Ranch
: natural, pasture-raised beef from Idaho; can be purchased directly from the ranchers through their website, at their cafe in Driggs, or at Jackson Whole Grocer in Jackson, WY.
Cold and snowy, blustery and blowing: a good night to make a big batch of potstickers!
It was inevitable that I made a big pot of minestrone soup this week. First, the cold November wind started to blow. Then, I felt the overwhelming need to eat something besides pancakes and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and my kids' Halloween candy (shhhh).
This was the day that I found a mysterious box of freshly-dug potatoes on my front porch. No note, just beautiful russet potatoes that smelled of the dirt that was clinging to them. Not knowing anyone who grows potatoes, I was intrigued. After a bit of investigation, I found that I was not alone. Other anonymous boxes of fresh and dirty potatoes had mysteriously appeared at other houses. Hmmmm.
Clearly I had to do something with this gift. Rummaging through the fridge and pantry I found: one small hunk of guanciale, one Parmesan rind (I hoard the nubs leftover from grating Parmesan in the freezer for soups), a small zucchini, carrots, cannelini beans, some orzo, and a can of San Marzano tomatoes.
It felt so much like November this week that I had to hang up a wreath.
This wreath is made entirely of star anise. I found it at Target, and it makes my porch smell like chai tea.
I have been making this soup for so long, and have gifted it so often to sick friends, new parents, and deserving teachers, that it has been dubbed Annie's Minestrone Soup. Which is not to say you shouldn't adapt it to what you have lying around the larder, and make it your own. Hopefully, you have at least one really good russet potato, mysterious or not, to make this soup satisfyingly filling.
If you happen to be using dried cannellini beans for the minestrone, then you will want to soak them for a few hours or overnight in cold water. While you're at it, soak a few more cups of beans and make Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage. It's so easy, and when you run out of minestrone soup, you can puree the cannellini beans in their rich broth for another November-loving soup.
Simmer 2 cups cannellini beans in a crockpot with 4 cloves of garlic, chicken broth to cover and a handful of sage. Simmer on low for 2-3-4 hours, until the beans are done. Add 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, a glug of olive oil and serve.
I should explain my habit of hoarding Parmesan rinds in the freezer. If you go to the trouble to purchase authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano imported from Italy, please don't throw the rind away when the cheese is gone. Save the rinds in the fridge or the freezer, and use them as a secret ingredient to soups, stews, and risottos. As you'll find with this minestrone soup recipe, the rind will soften and melt into the broth, adding flavor and depth to the soup.
Imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes and a nub of Parmesan rind make this soup especially good.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Annie's Minestrone Soup
This makes enough soup to serve 4 for lunch, then 4 for dinner, with some more to give to a friend, and another few cups to stash away in the freezer for another day.
- 1 cup dried white beans, such as cannellini, rinsed and soaked in cold water for a few hours or overnight; or 1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed
- 2 ounces guanciale or pancetta, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 2-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white part only, finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 4 ribs of celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with their juice (dice or leave whole)
- 1 Parmesan rind, leftover from a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup small pasta, such as orzo, acini de pepe, stars or alphabets
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage, or 2 cups slivered fresh spinach, Swiss chard or kale (with the woody ribs removed)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Freshly ground Parmesan, for serving
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
Guanciale is cured pigs' jowls. It can be found at a good butcher shop, such as Aspens Market, where they make it themselves.
- If you are using fresh cannellini beans and have been soaking them, rinse them and set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan on medium-high heat, cover the bottom of the pan with 2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil.
- Once the olive oil is shimmering, add the minced guanciale, and sauté for 2 minutes, or until the fat starts to melt. Add the leeks, carrots, celery, and potato, and sauté for 3-4 more minutes, stirring frequently so that the vegetables are coated with oil and starting to brown.
- If you are using fresh beans, add them to the pot. If you are using green cabbage, add that to the pot too.
- Add the chicken broth, Parmesan rind, and the whole can of tomatoes with its juice. (If you prefer not to have chunks of tomato in the soup, use kitchen shears to chop up the tomatoes while still in the can, or puree briefly with an immersion blender).
- Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer (gently bubbling) and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.
- Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to your liking. I used one Tablespoon of Kosher salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder.
- If you are using canned beans, add them now, along with 1/4 cup of the small pasta. Heat gently, stirring frequently, and add more water or broth if it's getting too thick.
- When the pasta is done, toss in the fresh greens and the fresh thyme. Heat for a few more minutes. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Sage
Buy good quality dried cannellini beans for this bean stew. If the beans are stale, they will take forever to cook, and won't have that tender bite.
- 2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked for a few hours or overnight in cold water, and then drained and rinsed
- 4 cups or more of chicken broth (enough to cover the beans in the pot by at least one inch
- 4-5 large cloves of garlic
- one handful of fresh sage leaves (about 8-10)
- 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
- 2-3 Tablespoons of good fruity olive oil
- Take the soaked, drained and rinsed beans and put them in a large heavy saucepan, or a slow-cooker.
- Cover with enough chicken broth so that the beans are covered by at least one inch.
- Throw in the garlic and the sage, and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cook over low heat (gently bubbling) for 2-4 hours, checking frequently to make sure the beans are covered by the broth.
- Start checking for doneness after 2 hours. Once the beans are tender, add the salt (start with 2 teaspoons, and increase as needed) and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Mash the garlic cloves against the side of the pan and stir back into the broth.
- Remove from the heat and drizzle with olive oil.
- Serve as an antipasto, warm or at room temperature. Toss cold into salads. Mash slightly and smear on toasted baguette slices, drizzled with olive oil. Toss a cupful of beans and broth with hot pasta and diced fresh tomatoes. Puree beans and broth and reheat for a simple soup, topped with croutons, freshly grated Parmesan, and freshly ground pepper.
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Culinary word of the day: Guanciale (gwahn-CHAY-lay)
Guanciale is a cured meat taken from the jowl of a pig. Literally translated from the Italian word for "pillow", it takes its name from the "guancia" or cheek of the pig. The meat is cured for a month in salt, pepper, chili powder and sometimes sugar, then hung and aged for another month. Pancetta can be substituted for guanciale. The butchers at the Aspens Market in Jackson make their own peppery version of guanciale, which is perfect for this soup.
from The Deluxe Food Lovers' Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst