Tag Archives: prosciutto

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

I recently got married at the Goat Lady Dairy – a cute little dairy farm about an hour Southeast of here, in North Carolina. Yes, photos to come, but first! … Goat cheese.

We had a goat-cheese course before dinner, which included their soft aged goat cheese, smoked goat cheese, herbed goat cheese spread, red pepper goat cheese spread and one with honey that people were raving about. Guests enjoyed the cheese tastings with big ripe strawberries and pita chips, and with a glass of our signature cocktail – the Eldermule (citrus-infused vodka, lemon, apple, elderflower liquer and a rosemary sprig from our garden).

When Grant and I came home from our honeymoon, we found the fridge full of leftover wedding cake … and goat cheese!

This recipe is so easy and tastes great with the soft, brie-like aged goat cheese with a thread of ash running through the middle. A new twist on my favorite brie bruschetta.

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 pieces of sliced sourdough or French bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 9 thin slices of prosciutto di parma (5 oz)
  • 1 small gala (or other) apple, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz soft cheese, such as the Goat Lady Dairy’s (found at Whole Foods), or brie

Preheat broiler. On baking sheet, drizzle bread with EVOO and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Broil until toasted lightly. Remove from oven and rub the peeled garlic clove over the toasted side, then flip the bread over on the baking sheet so untoasted side is up.

Top toasts evenly with prosciutto, apple and then cheese. Drizzle toasts with a bit more olive oil and another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Broil until the cheese begins to melt, 3-5 min.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Durn good, as we say in The South.

Grant has been getting me more into cycling, and on our honeymoon, I bought a fancy pair of biking shorts for the Virginia Creeper Trail. Now I’m bona fide, and invested in doing it more. I whipped these bruschetta up one recent Sunday afternoon when we returned from a long bike ride to Salem Lake. I was tired, sore and covered in dirt, but these tasted oh-so-good with a really cold beer, and a comfy patio chair.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Apple Butter, Brie and Prosciutto Toasts

Apple butter makes me think of the Fruit Loop in Oregon – a stretch of winding country roads that takes visitors through apple and pear orchards, vineyards and pumpkin patches. One stop along the way makes great BBQ, but what I remember more than the thick smoke hanging in the cool air is the giant cauldron of apple butter that a poor soul stirs and stirs over coals.

Now that I’ve made my own apple butter, I can really appreciate the labor of love. You literally need to commit a whole afternoon to stirring and reducing and checking for burning, etc. But I don’t have that kind of patience, so I took my butter to just under the butter stage (where the sauce becomes thick and spreadable). It still had the caramelized apple flavor, just wasn’t quite as thick as it should be.

Apple Cider Butter

  • 6 lbs apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 2 c. apple cider
  • 3 c. sugar
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

In large saucepan, combine apples and cider. Bring to boil over medium, then reduce and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft, about 30 min.

In batches, transfer apple mixture to food processor and puree until a uniform texture is reached.

In clean big saucepan, combine apple puree, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil over medium, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring, until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon – I did it for about 45 min.

Transfer to clean jars and let cool, then store in the fridge or give away!

I used mine on a yummy appetizer.

Apple Butter, Brie and Prosciutto Toasts

  • 1/2 c. apple butter
  • 1 baguette, cut into slices
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 lb. thin prosciutto slices
  • Thinly sliced apple
  • 8 oz. brie cheese

Toast baguette slices drizzled in olive oil, salt and pepper, then rub the warm slices on one side with a garlic clove.

Top each slice with a dollop of apple butter, then prosciutto, then a slice of apple (or pear if you have it!) and finally the brie.

Broil the toasts until the brie is melted. Finish with another drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

The garlic is a nice touch, underneath the sweet apple butter, gamey ham and buttery brie. You will love it.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Pear and Prosciutto Salad with Mint and Anise

It all started at my favorite place to shop: Costco. Most people know me as the one who gets overly excited by Costco and its high-quality foods in large quantities and discount prices. I think it’s because I’m from Costco’s home turf – Kirkland, Wash. is right outside Seattle, so everyone in Washington State feels a little ownership over our big-box baby.

On a recent trip, I spotted nearly a pound of prosciutto (domestic, alas) for $8. We all know it costs more than $20 per pound at the regular grocery store. I bought it, then regretted it because how could I possibly eat that much prosciutto by myself?

Oh, friends. Of course I could!

First, I made this wonderful dish that I adapted from Bon Appetit. Juicy, ripe pear is drizzled with a light anise-seed vinaigrette and mint. Then, you layer ribbons of prosciutto on top and add extra mint (clipped from the garden, naturally). It’s a new twist on the melon-prosciutto combination that so many people love.

The mint adds a fresh brightness and the anise seed give you a little crunch of delicate licorice flavor (but not too much, because I hate licorice).

Pear and Prosciutto Salad with Mint and Anise Seed

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons good pear nectar (or juice)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed (I just pinched between my fingers)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced fresh mint, divided
  • 1 unpeeled very ripe pear, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 wedges
  • Thin prosciutto slices

Whisk oil, nectar, vinegar, and aniseed in small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon mint. Season to taste with salt. Arrange pear wedges on plates; drizzle vinaigrette over. Top with prosciutto. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon mint.

A lovely snack or first course to enjoy in the back garden or front porch. I believe we enjoyed ours with a crisp white wine.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Asparagus, Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

Brunch with my girls – all gussied up in springtime dresses with light cardigans to protect against the breeze, new pedicures shining under out-from-hibernation sandals and plates of delicious fare to celebrate the season.

I’m lucky to have so many foodie friends who go all-out for a simple ladies’ brunch. Miss Valentine brought homemade orange-cranberry scones with English clotted cream and raspberry preserves…

Erika brought bacon-leek quiche, Lindsay brought tea cookies and Seton made brown-sugar bacon and poured spicy Bloody Marys and orange-mango mimosas.

What did I make, my friends? A fresh salad of roasted asparagus, sweet cantaloupe, fresh mozzarella, crispy proscuitto and toasted pine nuts. All tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. I adapted the recipe from Giada di Laurentiis, for your pleasure:

Asparagus, Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 small cantaloupe (about 12 ounces), peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss asparagus with salt, pepper and 2 T EVOO. Roast 7-8 min, until just tender but still with a bite. Set aside to cool and reduce oven to 350.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prosciutto in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the melon and mozzarella cheese and toss until all ingredients are combined.

Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the melon and mozzarella cheese on top of the asparagus. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette over the top. Crumble the prosciutto over the top, then pine nuts.

Finally, serve to your lady friends!

This was a nice combination of flavors. A twist on the classic melon-prosciutto appetizer. I normally hate melon (because I’m a closeted picky eater), but this was so pretty, I couldn’t help but enjoy it.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Pork Loin Stuffed with Prosciutto and Lemon

I wish I could remember what made me think this recipe would be a good idea. Butterflying or filleting things is not my strong suit. But the beautiful Bon Appetit pictures of pork loin perfectly rolled around lemon, prosciutto and bread crumbs made me think I should try it. I mean, how hard could it be?

It’s not that it was hard so much as I just did a bad job. I sliced the meat open with a sharp knife, rolling and slicing, rolling and slicing, until I had not a loin but an uneven slab of meat. Then I placed the thin slices of prosciutto and lemon on and sprinkled the panko. We didn’t have fresh chives, but for some reason Grant had dried chives in his cupboard, so I used that instead.

I also forgot the kitchen twine, so the loin didn’t cook as beautifully as I would hope (I had to use the one piece of twine that came with the meat).

Note – I found that the recipe’s measurements for salt were way too much, so please use tender care if you dare to make…

Pork Loin Stuffed with Prosciutto and Lemon (from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed (check the discount meat bin!)
  • 12 thin prosciutto slices (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 large lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (or dried…)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 450.
Place pork, fat side down, on work surface with 1 short end facing you. Using long thin sharp knife and starting 1/2 inch above underside of roast, cut 1/2 inch in along right side. Continue cutting 1/2 inch above underside, unrolling roast like carpet. Arrange prosciutto evenly over pork, overlapping if necessary. Arrange lemon slices over prosciutto. Sprinkle with panko, then chives. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (I would just use a pinch!) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Turn pork so 1 short end faces you. Beginning at 1 short end, roll up pork; arrange seam side down on work surface (fat side will be facing up). Using kitchen string, tie at 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals. Transfer pork, fat side up, to roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt (yikes, again, just use pinches) and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Here is my mess:
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven. Place pork on lower rack; roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; roast pork until instant-read thermometer registers 145°F when inserted into center of pork, 45 to 60 minutes longer, depending on thickness of roast. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add broth and wine; bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Stir in butter. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Using kitchen scissors, cut string along top of roast; discard. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

To serve, spoon sauce over the pork. The sauce is WONDERFUL. Rich and dark, salty and smooth. The pork actually had an awesome flavor, although I pulled out the lemon bits, which flavored the entire loin. The prosciutto gave it that ham-on-ham goodness and the panko brought everything together.

I also made cheesy broccoli as a side, but any green would be a good accompaniment.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek, prosciutto and goat cheese frittata

My perfect morning would go something like this: waking up to sun streaming through the blinds with a cat stretched at my feet; quietly walking down the hall so as not to wake the boy, cat trotting behind me; putting on a pot of coffee and opening the sun-room shades so my little prisms can reflect rainbows in my perfectly clean and tidy living room. While the cat chases the dancing rainbows, I would curl up on the couch with my hazelnut-scented coffee and watch my favorite Food Network shows, taking breaks to read lifestyle porn in my new Pottery Barn catalogs.

My favorite place to sit on the couch is in the corner, where the two sides hold me like a big, strong man. 🙂 It occurs to me that my ideal couch feels as comfortable as the soft embrace of a loved one.

Now, my house is never perfectly tidy and clean, but I can still enjoy the early-morning quiet with a yummy breakfast. Quiches and frittatas are perfect because you can add all your favorite flavors with eggs, and voila, you have a whole meal. I recently made one with leeks (a very underappreciated vegetable), thin slices of prosciutto, goat cheese and Gruyere. Sun-dried tomatoes and bacon would also be good, but I recommend the leeks for their delicate flavor that adds a bit of onion taste, and the goat cheese because it has a tangy, creamy bite that goes well with any other cheese, such as the fabulous Gruyere.

I do not have a nonstick skillet that can go in the oven, so I just used my cast-iron. A bit more work cleaning up, but it cooked the frittata beautifully. Just use your largest skillet that can go from stovetop to oven. This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Leek, prosciutto, goat cheese frittata

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 T milk or cream
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts halved, thoroughly cleaned and cut into thin slices
  • 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled with your fingers
  • 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, or any other hard cheese, grated (use whatever is in your fridge)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. Set aside.

Heat butter in skillet over medium until foaming subsides. Add leeks and 1/4 tsp salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until soft, stirring occasionally. Eight to 10 min. Grate in a pinch of fresh nutmeg, if you have it (leeks love nutmeg). Stir in prosciutto, half the goat cheese, parsley and eggs, stirring to distribute evenly. Use spatula to scrap up from the bottom until large curds have formed and the spatula leaves a wake, but eggs are still very wet, about 3-4 min. Shake skillet to distribute eggs evenly, let cook 30 more seconds.

Top with remaining goat cheese and Gruyere, then slide into oven. Cook until surface has puffed and is starting to brown, 4-5 min. Eggs should be slightly wet, but cooked. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 more min. Slice and serve!

No matter what makes YOU happy in the morning, a satisfying breakfast will help get you there. Promise.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Chicken with prosciutto and sage

IMG_4593

I have to say “Wow” to this dish. And admit that Shanlee inspired me to make it with her blog post, in which she describes how it turned her husband, a chicken-hater, into a chicken-lover. Oh, Martha Stewart. How you make foodies out of all of us! Can I play you when someone makes your version of Julie/Julia? Heck, I should write the damn blog-turned-book-turned-movie. “Martha & Me.”

Back to why this dish works: A twist on veal saltimbocca, a Roman classic. The chicken cutlet is only lightly seasoned – in fact, rather unseasoned, and just lightly fried. But that works perfectly with the rather strong, salty flavor of the prosciutto and the amazingly powerful sage leaf that magically infuses the whole chicken breast. I usually think cooked prosciutto is too gamey, but not so in this dish.

A simple white-wine and sage sauce spooned over at the last minute adds an extra tang and richness, tying the whole thing together.

Here’s what impressed me: the prosciutto actually stayed ON the chicken when I pan-fried it! When I do this method with bacon or pancetta, it seems like the pork always falls off somehow. But not here. The thin prosciutto held onto the chicken, trapping the sage leaf inside like a pressed flower.

We really loved this and I will definitely be making this again. It would be perfect for company because it doens’t take long (30 min. total), can easily be multiplied and has wide appeal (My W-S friends? Interested?).

Ingredients:

1/4 c. flour

Kosher salt and pepper

One fresh sage leaf for every chicken breast, plus 4 more, chopped (sage keeps for weeks in the fridge)

4 chicken cutlets (I bought one package – 1.25 lbs – of “thinly sliced” chicken breasts from the store, which basically had five cutlets that I didn’t have to pound out. Use whatever you can find.)

One slice of prosciutto for every chicken cutlet (I just bought one pre-sliced package)

4 tsp. EVOO

3/4 c. dry white wine (pinot griggio?)

1/3 c. chicken stock

1 T cold butter

Method:

In a shallow bowl, stir flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Set aside.

Lay one sage leaf on each cutlet and wrap the prosciutto around it, pressing to seal. Dredge each cutlet in the flour and tap off excess.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium. Cook 2 cutlets at a time until golden brown on each side and cooked through – about 4 min. per side for me. Remove cutlets to a plate with foil and keep warm while you add more oil and cook the rest. I put the chicken in the oven on “keep warm” while I made the sauce.

Add wine and broth to skillet and cook until reduced, 2 min. Let cool 1 min. and add butter and minced sage. Stir until melted.

To serve, Martha says to spoon the sauce on the plate, then the chicken. We served ours with toast and some couscous with almonds – even mashed potatoes would work here. A simple side salad would be nice.

Please enjoy this elegant take on a simple chicken recipe. Stay hungry, friends! xoxo