sharing (Italian) food to enjoy life

Archive for January, 2011

The Actual Prosciutto and Blueberry Pizza Experience

Posted by Jim Carfrae on January 21, 2011


So I served the Prosciutto and Blueberry Pizza as an appetizer to guests last weekend. Overall it was very well received and I’ll serve again, with a few corrections.

My first advice is to read the recipe over, something I rarely do and usually at my peril. The recipe is at:


I failed to notice the recipe calls for blueberry jam, so I needed to put the pizza back in the oven to get the blueberries warm and soft. I think a simple adjustment of putting the blueberries at the start would be fine.

I absolutely support putting the prosciutto on after the pizza is cooked. This way the prosciutto is just slightly warmed, so you get the full prosciutto taste and texture.

The only other changes I made were: to use a thick balsamic glaze, versus the runnier balsamic vinegar; and I didn’t put the gorgonzola over the entire pizza to appease the true boss in by house.

As an aside, I spread gorgonzola on a baguette and ate with the balsamic glaze. This is a great starter, just need to remember to take the gorgonzola out so it is room temperature and the full flavour is realized.

(I had the opportunity of visiting the Igor gorgonzola factory in Italy last year. They are the largest producer of the cheese in the world, and their facility is off-the-scale first class. I buy the pre-packed wedge which I find at most grocery stores.)


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Italy meets Mexico, very successfully

Posted by Jim Carfrae on January 21, 2011

Huevos Rancheros my favourite breakfast. I am constantly trying new variations and found adding in a little Italy, i.e. pancetta, was the final ingredient to perfection.

Huevos Rancheros is the classic Mexican breakfast of eggs in a tortilla. The dish usually includes scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and salsa. It can also include refried beans, whole beans, onions, peppers, cilantro and I am sure other things. My version sautés: pancetta, chopped onions, chipotle peppers, (I buy a canned version, dice up one and add to the pan) and add black beans. Once the onions are translucent, the pancetta rendered and the black beans soft I remove this pile and put in a bowl. I then fry up an egg easy-over, put in warmed tortilla, add the sautéed pile, and lastly add some finely chopped fresh cilantro, (really should take the leaves off the stems before chopping). I usually make two tortillas worth, and don’t need to eat for a long time – very filling. I love the runny yolk soaking mixing and soaking with everything else, but you can go with scrambled eggs or omelet-style if you prefer

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Spain and Italy didn’t get along as well as expected this time

Posted by Jim Carfrae on January 17, 2011

The thing about a tapas night, like every pot-luck I have ever attended, there is always way too much food. Two of my Christmas Eve tapas never even got served, (they were fully enjoyed later in the week).

At least my wife reigned me in before I made my planned fourth appetizer for the meal, yes I am a big part of the “too much” problem. Being lazy I dropped the experiment, baked brie with cranberry, pancetta and spiced pecans; next dinner party I guess.

The lack of love was not for the mini-Milano sandwiches which were their usual big hit. It was the Spanish Lustau Amontillado Sherry. While I acquired a taste for it, and it is a beautiful match for the prosciutto; it was simply too far from the accustomed taste buds of most.

If you try it, you must think of it as a tapas wine, it has no similarity to my mother’s sherry. The most remarkable thing is the total lack of linger/aftertaste. The taste happens in your mouth and is then gone, so works perfectly after a bite of prosciutto.

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