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Archive for July 10, 2014

RECIPE: Prosciutto and Fig Appetizer Wraps

Our earlier tip for prosciutto and peaches reminded us of this recipe, an appetizer for prosciutto, figs and Brie.

Per La Tortilla Factory, which provided the recipe, it’s a classic Sonoma County combination, enjoyed as an hors d’oeuvre or a snack. We like them with a beer or a glass of wine.

La Tortilla Factory makes these pinwheel sandwiches with their Multigrain Extra Virgin Olive Oil SoftWrap, a tortilla that’s 9.5 inches in diameter and, as the name indicates, is softer and more pliable than a standard wrap.

SoftWraps are also available in Traditional and Tomato Basil. Depending on the flavor, one tortilla delivers 8-9g protein and 48%-52% DV of fiber—about 52% of your recommended daily intake of fiber. What we especially like is that each wrap has only 100 calories.

  • Of course, you can substitute other wraps.
  • Instead of slicing into appetizer bites, you can slice it in half for a sandwich.
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    Fun yet sophisticated snacks with wine or beer. Photo courtesy La Tortilla Factory.

  • If figs are out of season, substitute thinly sliced apple, pear or even dried cranberries.
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    Prep time is 5 minutes, plus 2 hours of chilling time.
     
    RECIPE: PROSCIUTTO & FIG APPETIZER WRAPS

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 multigrain tortilla wrap
  • 2 ounces Brie cheese
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1 fresh fig, sliced
  • 1 ounce spring mix baby lettuce
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    Prepration

    1. PLACE tortilla on a flat work surface. Warm Brie in microwave 10-20 seconds to soften.

    2. SPREAD Brie over entire tortilla. Top with prosciutto, fig and lettuce. Roll tightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

    3. REMOVE plastic wrap and slice into 1-inch pieces. Serve with wine or beer.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet

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    It looks like ice cream, but it’s sorbet:
    amazing peanut butter banana sorbet with a
    fudge swirl. Photo courtesy Sorbabes.

     

    You’ve never tasted sorbet like this before,” says Sorbabes. And they’re spot on.

    The Sorbabes (as in sorbet babes) are two friends who met in New York City and followed their calling as specialty food entrepreneurs. They founded the Gourmet Sorbet Corp. in 2012.

    They may not even know it, but they have taken sorbet to new heights.

    By using creamy, nondairy ingredients such as coconut milk, peanut butter and fudge swirls, they’ve created a sorbet texture and complexity that’s entirely new to us.

    These flavors have the creaminess of ice cream, while remaining dairy free, cholesterol free and very low in fat (flavors with coconut milk and fudge ripple contain a small amount of fat; some flavors are fat free). Some are vegan.

    Flavors very seasonally, but here’s what we’ve been enjoying this summer:

     

  • Juicy Orange Passionfruit With Lychees. This flavor is classic sorbet style—no added creamy ingredients. But it’s brilliant. Orange juice and zest take a bit of the edge off of the naturally tart passionfruit, without detracting from intense passionfruit flavor. The chopped lychees add joy of flavor plus great texture: a perfect pairing of fruits. If they only made this one great flavor, Sorbabes would be our Top Pick Of The Week.
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    But there’s more greatness to come.

  • Creamy Coconut Chai Sorbet. With a base of coconut cream and hints hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, this flavor could evoke Indian chai. But to us, the crunchy slivers of coconut and the crumbs from the fresh-baked coconut macaroons evoke Biscuit Tortoni, our childhood passion. The coconut milk replaces the Tortoni’s whole eggs and heavy cream, although vegan should note the macaroons contain egg whites.
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  • Organic Peanut Banana Sorbet with Chocolate Fudge. An astounding flavor: lusciously creamy peanut sorbet with chunks of banana, a ripple of dark chocolate fudge and large chunks of peanuts. It’s so ice cream like, people won’t immediately think that it’s sorbet. Use it to fill a chocolate cookie pie crust: You’ve got instant frozen peanut butter banana pie.
  • Organic Pistachio With Sea Salted Caramel. The Sorbabes say that this flavor put them on the map. Whole organic pistachios in a water base are laced with a French sea salted caramel sauce. It’s a beauty, and so creamy it’s hard to believe it’s dairy free.
  • Raspberry Fudge. Red raspberries combine with fudge sauce to emulate a frozen raspberry truffle—actually a classic raspberry sorbet generously spiked with chocolate fudge. A slight problem here: All the fudge sauce was on the bottom of the pint. We needed to soften the sorbet and then churn up the fudge with a spatula.
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    We’re still on the hunt for a pint of Organic Pistachio With Sea Salted Caramel. Photo courtesy Sorbabes.

     

  • Summer Cucumber White Wine Mint. Called “summer in a jar” by the Sorbabes, this flavor has a cult following. The combination is fresh cucumber, fresh mint and Wolffer Estate white wine. Alas, we have not yet tracked down a pint. We’ve got a few more stores to visit until we can joint the cult.
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    And there’s the rub.

    As a new company, Sorbabes has limited distribution in the Metro New York area. We hope that their participation last week in the country’s largest specialty food trade show has gotten them clients nationwide.

    Until then, you’ll have to petition the best food store in town to bring the Sorbabes to you.

    For more information visit GourmetSorbet.com, and check out the Facebook page for a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet with Lemonade.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Prosciutto & Peaches

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    Peaches with prosciutto and a drizzle of
    balsamic, from Briscola by Charlie Palmer in
    Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort.

     

    Juicy summer peaches beg to be enjoyed in as many ways as possible. For a delicious first course or a dessert, pair them with prosciutto and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar—an update to the classic melon or figs with prosciutto.

    To amp up the first course, add fresh chèvre and some lightly dressed mesclun.

    You can also replace the prosciutto with serrano ham. Here’s the difference.

    Serve the dish with prosciutto-friendly Italian white wines such as Italian Moscato, Pinot Grigio or Prosecco; or look northward and grab an Alsatian-style Pinot Gris, Gewürtztraminer or Riesling.

    WHAT IS PROSCIUTTO

    Prosciutto is the Italian word for ham; specifically a dry-cured, uncooked ham that is aged for 400 days or longer. It originated in the hills around Parma, Italy.

     

     

    The pigs are fed a special diet of whey and grains, and the hams are trimmed and massaged with natural sea salt before aging. Prosciutto is served in thin slices, showing off rosy-colored meat with a pearl-white marbling of fat.

    Prosciutto di Parma, called Parma ham in English, is made from only two ingredients—pork leg and sea salt. What makes a great prosciutto is the artisan curing that creates prosciutto crudo (raw prosciutto, distinguished from cooked ham, or prosciutto cotto).

    The pork leg is carefully hand-rubbed with salt. It then passes through a series of curing rooms of different temperatures and humidity levels.

    Prosciutto made in the Parma and Langhirano areas of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna province is D.O.P.-protected by the European Union (in English, it’s D.P.O. or Domaine of Protected Origin). Prosciutto from other cities is also D.O.P. protected, but Prosciutto di Parma is the most famous export.

    Prosciutto-style products are made elsewhere in the world. La Quercia, in Iowa, is a fine domestic producer.

     

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    American-made prosciutto from LaQuercia in Iowa. Photo courtesy Murray’s Cheese.

     

    MORE WAYS TO ENJOY PROSCIUTTO

    Prosciutto is served plain as part of an antipasto or appetizer plate. In Italy, restaurants serve prosciutto in overlapping folded-over slices with bread or bread sticks as an appetizer, or wrapped around melon slices, with dates, figs or pears.

    The ham is incorporated into many recipes: wrapped around chicken, rolled with veal scallopini and diced into pasta and risotto. Find recipes at ParmaHam.com.

    But if you want to enjoy it as an Italian ham sandwich—on crusty baguette-style bread with arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella or provolone and a sprinkle of vinagrette—we think it’s an improvement on the American version.

    A drizzle of honey or some honey mustard also works.

      

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