Category Archives: prosciutto

Artisan Gouda & Prosciutto Bread

Here’s an oldie but goodie that I keep coming back to time and time again. While delicious freshly baked bread is readily available here in Belgium there is really nothing like baking your own. Sure it takes time but it is so worth it.

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One of my culinary goals for 2013 is to bake more bread.  I’m not talking quick breads; rather yeasted doughs that, while they take more time to put together, are worth the effort.  To kick off this year’s effort, I tested a bacon-cheese bread from the Noblepig.com blog.  As the recipe promised, the dough came together quickly and didn’t require any kneading. I didn’t even get to break out my trusty Kitchen Aid dough hook!  As usual, I was not able to find any cheddar cheese, so I swapped it out with an aged Gouda, achieving what I deem are with tasty results.  I also used prosciutto instead of bacon.  I diced it up then fried it until crispy before adding it to the dough along with the cheese.

The recipe produces two good sized loafs.  Because the dough can be refrigerated I baked one over the weekend then the other one later in the week.  It turns out that there is nothing better than a fresh baked loaf of bread on a weeknight (or weekday morning).

ARTISAN GOUDA & PROSCIUTTO BREAD

10 slices thick cut bacon or prosciutto, diced
8 ounces shredded aged Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons granulated yeast
3 cups lukewarm water
5 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • Cook the bacon or prosciutto over medium heat until brown and crunchy. Place on a paper towel-
    lined plate to drain.  Set aside.
  • Add the yeast to a large ceramic bowl.  Pour in the warm water and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Add the flour and salt.
  • Mix with the wooden spoon until the flour and salt are fully wet.  Add the cheese and
    bacon/prosciutto to the dough and stir until fully combined.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for at least 3 hours.  After 3 hours place the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
  • When ready to bake, place a metal baking pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  Fill it with water.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Meanwhile, butter the bottom of an 11 x 17 inch baking tray and sprinkle the cornmeal over the
  • butter to prevent the break from sticking.
  • Divide the dough into two even loaves, shaping each into a ball.
  • Place on the baking tray, several inches apart.  Sprinkle the dough generously with flour.  (You can also bake one at a time, saving the dough in the refrigerator for another day).
  • Let rest on the baking tray for 30 minutes.  Right before placing in the oven, score the top of the bread with an “x” or other decorative mark, cutting right through the dough.9)
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes before slicing.
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Peaches w/ Prosciutto & Mint

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Its been unseasonably hot here in Belgium recently. With record breaking heat and houses that lack air conditioning, the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the oven to cook. The same goes for grilling since, yes it is simply that hot. But, you’ve still got to eat. My solution when the temperatures soar is to go simple, light, and if possible, not turn on a single appliance.

These peaches wrapped in prosciutto from William Sonoma are meant to be an appetizer, and they do make a very tasty addition to dinner, but on a hot night, they are dinner. Peaches are in season right now so it is easy to find a perfectly ripe peach. When wrapped in a slice of salty prosciutto the combination is out of this world. If you like, serve them alongside crusty French bread and wash it all down with a chilled prosecco. And dinner is served.

PEACHES w/PROSCIUTTO & MINT

3 white peaches

8 thin prosciutto slices

24 fresh mint leaves

  • Slice wach peach in half and remove the pit.
  • Cut each peach half into four equal slices.
  • Cut each prosciutto slice lengthwise into three strips.
  • Place a mint leaf on each peach slice and wrap it with a strip of prosciutto.

Makes 24

 

Summer Squash Pasta w/ Frizzled Prosciutto

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A fun, easy and delicious family friendly meal? Yes, that is what you have with the fun pasta dish courtesy of Cuisine at Home. There is really something for everyone in this dish. Kids loved the “frizzled” prosciutto which is essentially strip of prosciutto that have been cooked until they are crispy. A healthy dose of both yellow squash and zucchini ensure that there are vegetables in every bite while the mild white wine and cream sauce disguises the squashes from vegetable adverse dinners. But for me the best part is the combination of the fresh basil, mint and lemon zest that tops the entire dish. There are truly so many flavors in one bowl that everyone is sure to leave the table happy.

SUMMER SQUASH PASTA w/ FRIZZLED PROSCIUTTO

8 ounces small dried pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 ounces prosciutto, sliced into 1/2 inch strips

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh mint, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt & pepper to taste

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp. Transfer to a paper lined plate to drain.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the onion, zucchini and yellow squash. Cook until the onion softens, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and cook until it is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cream and pasta, tossing to coat. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, basil, mint, lemon zest and prosciutto.
  • Add the reserved pasta water if necessary to thin the sauce.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Pear & Brie Pizza w/ Prosciutto

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More pizza!  What’s not to love about such a simple yet complex food.  Basic pizza dough is a blank canvas just begging to be dressed with creative and flavorful toppings.  The possibilities are endless.  I love combining sweet, savory, and salty flavors and this pizza fulfills all of these requirements.  As with all cooking, make sure to select the best quality of ingredients you can find.  When you use as few as this recipe does, the flavor of each one really does matter.  And choose the ripest pears possible since their sweetness contrasts so nicely with the saltiness of the prosciutto.

For the pizza dough:

1 Teaspoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1 Teaspoon honey

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Teaspoon Kosher salt

4 Teaspoons olive oil

  • Dissolve the yeast in the water.  Stir in the honey and let stand until the liquid begins to bubble, 3-5 minutes; stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Pulse the flour, salt, and remaining olive oil in a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  With the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball around the blade.
  • Remove the dough from the processor and knead on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic, 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough stretches gently when pulled, 30-60 minutes.
  • Punch dough down and divide into four pieces; shape into balls and roll in your hands until smooth, about one minute.
  • Arrange dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap coated with non-stick spray, and let rise for 30-60 minutes more.
  • Press each dough ball out on a lightly floured surface.  Turn dough, pressing on its center, then roll each into a 7 to 8 inch circle.  Transfer the rounds onto a pizza peel generously dusted with cornmeal; brush each with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then add toppings.

Pizza toppings:

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 ounces prosciutto, diced

4 ounces brie cheese, cut into bite sized pieces

1 ripe pear, cored and sliced into thin wedges

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add the prosciutto and saute until crisp, 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

To Assemble the Pizzas:

  • Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil onto the top of each pizza.
  • Evenly divide the brie cheese and pear slices over the top of each pizza.  Add the prosciutto.
  • Sprinkle the salt and oregano over the top of each pizza.
  • Place the pizzas directly onto the pre-heated pizza stone (you may need to do this in batches if you are cooking several pizzas).  In order to keep the grill hot,  shut the grill lid during the baking process.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crispy and brown and the toppings are hot.  The amount of baking time may vary depending upon the temperature of your grill so watch the pizzas carefully so they don’t burn.
  • Carefully remove the pizzas from the grill and allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

Makes:  4 individual sized pizzas

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

For me, sandwiches are either a hit or miss proposition.  They can make for a satisfying lunch or light dinner, especially when paired with a salad or a bowl of soup, but they must be done right.  I love a combination of flavorful and interesting fillings but if the bread is disappointing, the entire sandwich loses its appeal.  The type of bread I like varies depending upon the filling but for hearty or messy fillings, a crusty bread is a must.

This simple sandwich uses crusty rolls but a French baguette or ciabatta rolls would work as well.  The bread is sturdy enough to absorb and contain the juices from the carmelized onions and makes the sandwich feel more substantial than it really is.  You can eat the sandwich alone or pair it with a bowl of soup.  Best of all, the sandwich is fast to make so you can be eating dinner in no time.

PROSCIUTTO, GOAT CHEESE, & CARAMELIZED ONION SANDWICHES

2 crusty rolls sliced, or the bread of your choice

2 medium-sized red onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

8 baby spinach leaves

  • Place a small saute pan over medium heat.  Add the oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar, and toss to coat.
  • Cook the onions for 15 to 20 minutes until they brown and caramelize, tossing occasionally and adding a small amount of water if necessary.  When they are cooked to your liking, remove them from the heat.
  • Divide the goat cheese between the two rolls and spread to coat one half of each bread.
  • Divide the onions and prosciutto evenly between the sandwiches.  Top with the spinach leaves.
  • Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Yields:  2 sandwiches

Melon & Prosciutto Soup w/ Mascarpone

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Fridays, combined with hot summer evenings, make the prospect of cooking less than enticing.  My solution?  A dinner that requires minimal cooking and minimal effort.  This chilled soup, from Williams Sonoma’s Soup of the Day, fulfills both of these desires.  Ripe cantaloupe is sweet but the saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the mascarpone provide the perfect foil.  The soup tastes best cold but if you start with a chilled cantaloupe, you can have this chilled soup on the table in less than half an hour.  Serve it with a crisp white wine as is or alongside a salad or even a sandwich and you have the perfect end of the summer week meal.

MELON & PROSCIUTTO SOUP w/ MASCARPONE CHEESE

2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ripe honeydew melon, chilled

2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1 lime, cut into wedges

  • Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan until shimmering.  Add the prosciutto and fry until crispy.  Drain and crumble.  Set aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the seeds from the honeydew.  Peel, slice, and cube the melon.
  • Place the melon in the bowl of a large food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Pulse again 3-4 times.
  • Place the soup in a large bowl and chill until ready to use.
  • Serve topped with mascarpone, prosciutto and a drizzle of lime juice.

Serves 4-6

Sweet Corn & Crispy Prosciutto Risotto

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion.  If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries and allow you to put a real meal on the table in less than half an hour.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Regular readers know I love risotto and am just as apt to serve it as a side dish as an entree.  This risotto combines the sweet flavors of fresh summer corn and salty prosciutto and in my opinion, is a complete dish all on its own.  Do use fresh corn scraped from the cob if it is available.  If you can’t find good corn–as is usually the case here in Albania-substitute 1 cup of canned or frozen corn.  In order to keep it crispy, add the prosciutto immediately before serving.

SWEET CORN & CRISPY PROSCIUTTO RISOTTO

6 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups dry white wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small red onion, minced

1 1/2 cups risotto rice of your choice

3-4 ears corn on the cob, kernels removed

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Dice the prosciutto and add to the hot oil. Saute until the prosciutto is crispy, 10-15 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel.
  • Combine the broth and white wine in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the temperature but keep the broth hot.
  • In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until the onion is soft and golden.
  • Add the rice and stir to combine making sure each grain of rice is coated with butter.
  • Gradually add the hot broth to the rice by the ladleful, stirring to combine after each addition.  Continue to stir the rice often to keep it from sticking.
  • Continue adding the broth being sure to add the next ladle before the rice has cooked itself dry.  Repeat this process until the rice is tender to the bite.  You may not need to use all of the broth.
  • Prior to adding the last ladle of broth, add the corn to the rice and stir to combine.
  • Off the heat and stir in the thyme and parmesan cheese.
  • Add the crispy prosciutto and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 4

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