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TIP OF THE DAY: Apricots & Prosciutto

Here’s a fall-winter spin on the popular appetizer, melon and prosciutto, that also allows you to substitute pancetta.
 
 
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PANCETTA AND PROSCIUTTO

Both pancetta (pan-CHEH-tuh) and prosciutto (pro-SHOO-toh) are Italian pork products.

  • Pancetta is the Italian version of bacon, made from the pork belly like American bacon. Instead of being smoked like our bacon, pancetta is cured with salt and spices. The result is salty like American bacon. but with a more delicate, nonsmoky flavor.
  • Prosciutto is ham that is salt-cured and air-dried. (Different countries use different methods of curing and cooking the ham: American ham is rubbed with sugar and/or spices and smoked.) Prosciutto is sold cooked (cotto) and raw (crudo); the latter, cut in wafer-thin slices, is typically how it is sold in the U.S. While it is called raw/crudo, the ham is cured and ready to eat.
  •  
    Prosciutto is often served as part of an antipasto platter and as an appetizer with asparagus, fresh figs or melon, either on the side or wrapped in a bundle.

    Check out the different types of bacon in our Bacon Glossary.

    Check out the different types of ham in our Ham Glossary.

    While fresh apricots are a summer food, you can use dried apricots to make this a fall appetizer.
     
     
    RECIPE: APRICOTS & PROSCIUTTO

    Ingredients For 8 Two-Piece Servings

  • 3.5 ounces (100g) goat cheese, fresh or aged
  • 16 apricots, welled (sliced to center, pits removed) or 32 dried (yet soft) apricot halves
  • 16 slices prosciutto
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    Supplies

  • Toothpicks
  • Grill pan
  •  
    [1] Stuffed apricots can be served as an hors d’oeuvre or a first course (photo courtesy © Landana Cheese).


    [2] Fresh apricots, a summer fruit (photo © Washington State Fruit Commission).

     
    Preparation

    1. DICE the cheese into rectangles. If using a round log, slice circles in half.

    2. SLICE fresh apricots open to the center and fill them with a piece of goat cheese. If using dried apricots, sandwich a piece of cheese between two halves.

    3. WRAP a slice of prosciutto around each apricot and spear it with a toothpick.

    4. HEAT the grill pan and fry the apricots for 5 minutes until crispy.

    5. SERVE with a white Italian wine, such as Verdicchio. You can serve these on a tray with cocktails, or plate them with a baby arugula salad with vinaigrette as a first course.

      




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