Recipes for Accompaniments

Sugar Snap Peas with Brown Butter and Sage

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the sage leaves and raise the heat. When the butter begins to brown, toss in the snap peas, add salt and pepper to taste, and saute over high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not overcook the peas – they should surrender their fresh, watery crispness but remain crunchy.

Serve with warmed Fra’ Mani Roasted Pork Loin.

Green Tomato Condiment

  • 5 pounds underripe green tomatoes
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 yellow onions, finely diced
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, then slice into small pieces about 1/8 inch thick. Place the tomatoes in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the brown sugar, onions, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, currants, raisins, mustard seed, and celery seed. Using cheesecloth, make a little spice sack containing the cloves and allspice and add it to the pot, along with the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the mixture has reduced to a glossy, jam-like consistency.

Remove the cinnamon stick, ginger slices, and spice bag, then ladle the condiment into sterilized mason jars. Cover the jars and submerge them in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Cool, then store in the refrigerator. You should have about 2 quarts.

Serve as an accompaniment to Fra’ Mani Roasted Pork Loin.

Potatoes and Onions Roasted with Vinegar and Thyme

  • 8 white boiling onions (golf ball size, about 9 ounces total)
  • 12 small red potatoes (golf ball size, about 1 pound total)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel the onions. Starting at the top of each potato, pare away a 1/4-inch thick band of the skin, leaving half of it in place. This allows the vinegar to penetrate during their slow roast. Put the onions and potatoes in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Melt the butter and pour it and the vinegar over the potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper and mix until they are coated. Bury the thyme sprigs in the vegetables and cover the dish with foil.

Bake in the oven for about 2 hours, stirring the vegetables every half hour to re-coat them with the vinegar and butter (this is important if they are to brown evenly). Be sure to cover them after stirring each time. When done, the onions and potatoes should be a deep brown color.

Serve warm alongside Fra’ Mani Roasted Pork Loin.

Cheese and Green Onion Drop Biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 heaping cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • Heaping 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to combine thoroughly. Add butter. Using pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut butter into flour until it is coarse, pea-sized. Add olive oil, grated cheese, and minced onion. Stir together.

Add milk a little at a time, just until the dough is moistened and no longer dry and powdery. The dough shouldn’t be sticky, just moist enough to hold together.

Drop golf ball sized portions onto an ungreased baking pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Serve warm with Fra’ Mani Turkey Chili.

Perfect Cannellini Beans

  • 1 pound dried Cannellini beans
  • Warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons very good olive oil
  • 5-6 fresh sage leaves
  • Small piece of yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Olive oil and freshly ground black pepper for serving

Sort through the beans and discard any that are broken or discolored. Wash the beans and drain them in a colander.

Place the beans in the top section of a double boiler. Add 6 cups of warm water. Cover.

Set over, not in, barely simmering water on a very low flame. Gently stir from time to time. As the beans cook, check the level of the water in the lower section of your double boiler to ensure adequate supply. After 1 ½ hours, check the beans. They should have changed color uniformly from white to cream, and doubled in size. Otherwise, continue cooking the beans. Take note of the water level, then drain and rinse the beans.

Put the beans back in the double boiler. Gently stir in the olive oil, sage leaves, yellow onion and garlic cloves.

Add hot water to the previous level, cover, and continue cooking for another hour or until the beans are creamy tender. The beans should cook very moderately—no bubbling at all. Be aware of the level of the water in the lower section of your double boiler to ensure adequate supply.

Stir in salt and let the beans cool for an hour in their juices.

Moisten the beans with a little of the cooking liquid and drizzle with very good olive oil. Grind a generous amount of black pepper over the beans. Eat at once.