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Archive for December, 2011

December is still Prosciutto Month

Posted by Jim Carfrae on December 20, 2011

I was at the deli on Saturday getting some prosciutto sliced, and casually mentioned “I guess you know December is prosciutto month”. Her response was “I know, almost every person is ordering some”, it really is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.


I was serving a group of friends, one of whom has Celiac disease, (no wheat products). I decided to try something new, prosciutto wrapped around polenta and basil. (Polenta is basically corn meal that is boiled in water until it becomes thick; I suppose it is the Italian version of south western grits. I could be wrong here, it was only my second time making the polenta, and the response was just as mediocre as last time.)


The texture of the polenta just didn’t work with the prosciutto. Even though I fried up the polenta afterward, is remains soft inside; I think crispy like a bread stick works well with prosciutto. To salvage the situation, I put covered the rest of the polenta in gorgonzola cheese – which worked great – and draped the prosciutto in a pile for people to eat straight up – which also worked great. My friend brought champagne, which was a perfect pairing.


Christmas Eve I have been assigned a wheat-free prosciutto appetizer, (different person). I plan to go with the prosciutto sushi – around asparagus, around cantaloupe and for something new I am going to do a version wrapped around figs if I can find them.


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magazine browsing – December is Prosciutto Month

Posted by Jim Carfrae on December 6, 2011

I was leafing through a great French cooking magazine, Je Cuisine, and came across this great photo in the December issue. It looks easy and tasty, so I contacted them for a translation. If you look at the crostini in the right corner, they have folded the prosciutto to look like a flower – I am going to try this, does anyone have any experience on how to do this fancy fold? Oh, an here is the instructions, I hesitate to say recipe, it is so simple.

Crostini with mashed avocado and prosciutto

½ baguette cut in 12 slices
15ml (1 soup spoon) avocado oil
1 avocado
10ml (2 tea spoon) lime juice
10ml (2 tea spoon) pesto
Salt and Tabasco to taste
6 procuito slices cut in half lengthwise

1. Put the oven to grill mode
2. Drop the baguette slice on a hotplate and brush with oil on both sides. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool.
3. Crush the avocado in a bowl; mix the lime juice, pesto and seasoning.
4. Spread on the baguette slice with the avocado mixture and add a prosciutto slice on each slice.

Thank you to Je Cuisine for the image and translation.

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December is Prosciutto Month – Share a little Italian with Smoked Prosciutto

Posted by Jim Carfrae on December 5, 2011

You might have heard of speck, it is a ham that is coated in 11 different spices, including juniper berries, coriander and pepper for two weeks. The ham is smoked with natural hickory for 2 days and then aged for six months. We also sell it as San Daniele Smoked Prosciutto, and you can see it is really much more than that.

My wife shared smoked prosciutto crostini at her hockey party last week to huge success. She made them at the start so people could watch during preparation; they were surprised at the ease for such an amazing taste.

While we usually do most of our preparation beforehand, I am starting to realize that people really enjoy watching simple food preparation and love to talk about the ingredients. Perhaps this is the impact of all those hours of The Food Network. Do you usually prepare in advance or on the fly?

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December is Prosciutto Month – Share a little Italian

Posted by Jim Carfrae on December 1, 2011

More than any other deli meat, prosciutto is served for guests. Given its nickname, “the king of deli meats”, that probably isn’t surprising. As we enter the holiday season I have stocked up. Just yesterday my daughter set up draped prosciutto around the outside of the plate with cantaloupe balls in the middle.

Last holiday season I served Prosciutto Sliders, I still think it is the ultimate appetizer for a large group of people, say 20+. We were recently at the Gourmet Food and Wine Show where we served over 7,000 slices – proof of high volume ease. And yet, perfect for any weekend lunch.

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