Showing posts with label Parma ham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parma ham. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2016

Parma-wrapped Fish with Mediterranean Sauce #FishFridayFoodies

Add extra flavor to your fish by pan-frying it wrapped in Parma ham, then sit it on a succulent bed of spicy tomatoes and olives, perhaps with pasta underneath, for a beautiful and satisfying meal.

I’m not sure if the two things go hand in hand for everyone, but we are beach people and we love seafood. There's nothing we enjoy more than traveling somewhere where the catch is fresh and putting it straight on the grill or into a pan! In fact, our favorite fish dish, ceviche, doesn’t even require heat!

So when my friend, Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm, asked me if I’d like to join a group she was forming, with the aim of putting more seafood on our tables in the name of health, I thought, sure, and yes, please! We do already eat quite a lot of seafood here - easily once or twice a week – so I’m looking forward to seeing all the great recipes my fellow bloggers will share for Fish Friday Foodies.

The Parma-wrapped fish in this particular recipe is so good that we had it twice in one week! Once one its own, and then with this chunky sauce.

Ingredients to serve two
For the fish:
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 thick sustainable white fish fillets, skinless, 7 oz or 200g each
4 slices Parma ham
Olive oil

For the sauce:
1 small red chili pepper
1/2 large purple onion
1 large clove garlic
2 large tomatoes
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1/2 cup, sliced, or 65g black olives
Good handful fresh basil leaves – keep aside the tiniest ones for garnish

To serve:
About 4 oz or 113g dry pasta of your choice, cooked as instructed on package.

Mince your garlic and chili pepper and chop your onions and tomatoes.

In a large non-stick saucepan, sauté the garlic, pepper and onion in a good glug of olive oil, over a low flame, until soft.

Add in the chopped tomatoes and give them a good sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft just starting to break down.

While the tomatoes cook, season your fish fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then wrap them in the Parma ham.

Add the olives to the saucepan and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.

Pile the chunky sauce into a bowl and set aside.

This is also a good time to boil and drain your pasta, according to package instructions!

Drizzle some more olive oil into the saucepan and turn the heat up. Cook the wrapped fish for about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Actual times will vary depending on the thickness of your fillets.

While the fish is cooking, stack your basil leaves one on top of the other and roll them tightly, then slice them finely. This is what the fancy chefs call chiffonade.

When the fish is done, remove it to a warm place and return the sauce to the saucepan and reheat it till bubbling. Remove from the heat and stir through the basil.

Divide the pasta between two shallow bowls, spoon on some sauce, then perch the fish on top. Drizzle with a little good quality olive oil. Add a bit of the sauce and tiny basil leaves for garnish, if you have some.


Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of every month. To join our group please email Wendy at

Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baby Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

Quick appetizers made from asparagus wrapped in prosciutto or Parma ham are perfect finger food for parties.

I first tried these beautiful morsels on my birthday last year, exactly one year ago today, made by the lovely Nicola.  That night was the first time we became reacquainted since we all lived in Abu Dhabi back in the late ‘80s.  During this past year we’ve have spent much time in Nicky's company, enjoying the warm hospitality of the home she shares with our dear friend, David.  As another birthday rolls around and I take stock of my blessings, David and Nicky are up near the very top of the list.  They gave me my birthday gift early since they are traveling this week and it almost made me cry.  This photo was from the olden days, more than 25 year ago.  They had it scanned and improved from an old print.  Then framed it.  Isn't that the best gift?!

Me and my sweetie, Abu Dhabi, circa 1988

Baby Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto

Prosciutto crudo is ham that has been cured and aged, so while technically it is uncooked, it is safe to eat, not to mention delicious. If it comes from the right region of Italy, it can also be called Parma ham but any prosciutto will do here. You can substitute thicker asparagus and use only one or two in each roll, but I prefer baby asparagus because they cook more quickly so they are done by the time the prosciutto is golden and crispy. Plus, look how pretty! You are going to love these wrapped asparagus!  So easy and so delicious!

100g or 3 1/2 oz baby asparagus
120g or 4 1/4 oz thinly sliced (raw cured, not dried) prosciutto
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tough dry ends off the bottoms of your asparagus.

Separate the slices of prosciutto and slice them each in half lengthwise.

Prepare your cooking pan by drizzling it all over with the olive oil.

Here’s where you are going to have to do a little math on your own.  Determine how many half slices of prosciutto you have.  My package had 10 slices so I had 20 long halves.

Now count your asparagus spears and figure out how many you can put in each roll.  You may have a few remainders, as we used to say in long division.  I had 86 spears, divided by 20 = 4.3.  So, for me, each roll could have 4 spears and six of those rolls could have five.  Take out the thinnest spears to be your remainders so you can add them in to the last however many rolls.

Okay, ready to roll?   Starting near the top of the asparagus spears, roll them up as tightly as you can in the prosciutto.

Go once around the top and then start angling the roll so that you finish near the bottom.

Place the rolls in your prepared cooking pan and turn them over in the olive oil to coat.

The broiler or grill in my oven has a very narrow range so I lined mine up so the prosciutto was in the middle.  If yours works better, you can spread them around the pan.

Cook under the grill or broiler of your oven until they have cooked on one side, turn them over to brown on the other.  For some of you, this may happen quite quickly so don’t walk away and do keep a close eye on them.

When crispy on both sides, remove to a serving plate and sprinkle them with a generous helping of freshly ground black pepper.  These can be served immediately or later at room temperature.  I must confess that my husband was traveling when I made these and I munched on them all morning until they were all gone.

As when Nicky served them, these go great with a glass of Champagne.  Or whatever your favorite tipple.  Enjoy!

Here are a few other appetizer recipes you might enjoy:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Prosciutto

This recipe is especially for my dear friend, Belinda, who apparently has a surplus of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in her freezer.   It is one of my favorites from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, published in the US as Food Revolution, where, for some bizarre reason, the Parmesan was omitted from the recipe.  I can’t imagine why.

2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
30g or 1 oz Parmesan cheese
2 skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
4-5 slices of prosciutto or Parma ham – about 70g or 2.5 oz
Olive oil

Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks.   If there are some very fine stalks which just break when you try to remove the leaves, just chop those up and group with the leaves. Grate your Parmesan.

Lay some cling film on a cutting board and place the breasts on the plastic.  Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a small knife.

Season with a little pepper (You don’t need salt as the prosciutto and Parmesan are quite salty).  Lay your breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves.

Grate a little lemon zest over them.

Put half of the Parmesan on each breast.

Lay two prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly. If there happens to be a fifth slice in your package, as mine had, cut it in half and put one piece on each breast on top of the other two slices.

Put a square of plastic wrap over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a saucepan until they are about ½ inch or 1cm thick.

This  is the fun part!  Give it a jolly good bash. 

Put a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the plastic wrap and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto-side down, into the pan.

Drizzle over some olive oil. Cook for three minutes on each side, turning halfway through.

Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate.   Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over and a sprinkle of the few leftover thyme leaves. 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Parma Ham, Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

I got some moaning and groaning about difficulty among the positive comments regarding the beef Wellington last night, after posting the link on my Facebook page.  It wasn’t that hard, really it wasn’t!  But, just for you, here’s a simple recipe that is so easy, it is actually just assembly.  A salad, so nothing to cook!  But it is huge on flavor and succulentness.  Yes, I know that’s not a word, but it should be.  Heads up, OED. Next year's edition?

(P.S.  This was our starter last night!  We enjoyed something similar weekend before last during our three days in Singapore and I have been wanting to try my own version since we arrived home.  Simon’s comment was, “Please add this to the list of things we have again!”  I think he liked it.  And, in the spirit of full disclosure, after eating this as a starter, we each only ate half of our individual beef Wellingtons.  Yay, leftovers for me tonight!)

Ingredients for the salad to serve two
1 large ball (125g or 4.4oz) fresh buffalo mozzarella – ours was Italian but if you have a locally made one that is soft and creamy and stored in the whey, give it a try.  This will not be the same with mozzarella encased in plastic.
About 50g or 1.75 oz arugula or rocket – a couple of good handfuls each
70g or 2.5oz Parma ham or prosciutto

Ingredients for the dressing – you will have leftovers
4 sun-dried tomato halves
Enough boiling water to cover the tomatoes
3 tablespoons or 1.5oz or 45ml lemon juice
6 tablespoons or 3oz or 90ml olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in some hot boiling water, just to cover. 

Slice the garlic as thinly as you can and add it to a clean, empty jar.  (One you have saved and washed thoroughly when you finished the jam or something.  Failing this, a bowl and a small whisk will do.  A jar is just easier and you can store the balance in it.) 

Add the lemon juice to the garlic and let it steep for a bit.  This will take some of the pungency and sharpness out of the garlic.

Add in the olive oil, a pinch or two of sea salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.

When your tomatoes have softened sufficiently, slice them up and add them to the jar or bowl.  Add in about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the tomato soaking water.

Shake or whisk until the dressing is homogeneous.

To assemble the salad:  Divide your arugula between two small plates.

Cut the mozzarella ball in half long ways.  Put each half in the center of the arugula, cut side up.

Cut your slices of Parma ham in half lengthwise and drape them artfully around the mozzarella.

Give the dressing another good shake or whisk and drizzle it with a spoon, all around the arugula, Parma ham and mozzarella.  It's done.

The perfect way to eat this is to make sure to get a bit of ham, arugula and mozzarella in each bite.  If you can make it work out even till the last bite, you are truly gifted, a superior human being.  And I would be proud to know you. 

For a vegetarian version, why not try marinated artichokes instead of the Parma ham?