Prosciutto, Italian for ham, is sliced so thin it's almost transparent. But don't be fooled by its airy texture. It packs huge flavor.
BY CAROLE KOTKIN
THE MIAMI HERALD
Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham, but few other hams are so fine in texture and so delectable in flavor.
The Serrano hams of Spain share some of the same characteristics, but nothing quite matches the rosy color, satiny smoothness and sweet, meaty flavor of the best Italian prosciutto.
Prosciutto di Parma owes its flavor to pigs fed corn, barley and other cereals as well as whey from the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
During the curing coarse sea salt is applied to hams before they are hung to air dry, making it safe to eat without cooking.
In Parma, prosciutto is sliced paper thin and served on an antipasto platter, wrapped around bread sticks or melon or eaten in pasta, omelets or sandwiches. (It's also eaten straight from the deli-wrap it comes in.)
And it figures prominently in the recipe on page D3, adapted from Mitchell Rosenthal's "Cooking My Way Back Home."
In this case, it is used to take a favorite Miami dish to the next level.
BOB'S CUBANO WITH GRUYÈRE AND DILL PICKLE
Makes 6 sandwiches
6 torpedo rolls, split lengthwise (or six 6-inch sections from two loaves of Cuban bread, cut in half lengthwise) Mayonnaise Dijon mustard 1 pound thinly sliced roast pork 12 slices prosciutto 12 slices Gruyere cheese 1 large dill pickle, sliced 4 pickled jalapeños, sliced Unsalted butter, at room temperature
Directions: 1. Place rolls, cut sides up, on work surface, and spread with mayonnaise and then mustard. Divide pork slices evenly among rolls, placing them on bottom half. Top with 2 prosciutto slices and 2 cheese slices. Divide dill pickle and pickled jalapeño slices evenly among sandwiches. Close sandwiches with roll tops. 2. Smear top and bottom of each sandwich with butter. Heat large frying pan over medium heat. Add as many sandwiches as will fit comfortably and heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on first side. Carefully flip sandwiches over and place sandwich press (or brick covered with aluminum foil) on top. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer to sheet pan. 3. When all of the sandwiches have been browned, put sheet pan in oven for about 6 minutes, until sandwiches are hot throughout. Serve at once. Makes 6 sandwiches
Nutritional information per sandwich: 456 calories (49 percent from fat), 24 g fat (10.5g saturated, 10 g monounsaturated), 106 mg cholesterol, 38 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 866 mg sodium
Recipe adapted from: "Cooking My Way Back Home" by Mitchell Rosenthal (Ten Speed, $35).
Copyright 2013 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.