Speck Alto Adige Prosciutto
I am very excited to be selected as the October “Speckulator” food blogger for Speck Alto Adige. Speck Alto Adige is a dry-cured, lightly smoked ham (or as Italians say “prosciutto”), produced in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Initially, it was made to preserve the meat for a long time, allowing poorer families to have access to protein throughout the year. Over time it became one of the main courses for feasts, and today is known as the gold star in Italian cold cuts.
Being raised in an all-Italian family, I am very familiar with this product as well as many other traditional Italian cold cuts. That’s right, I was the kid who had a salami and provolone sandwich instead of peanut butter and jelly in their lunch box. Having knowledge about the product, it is very important to slice it very, very thin. Why? Because it has intense taste so you don’t need a large amount to get the full flavor and be overpowered by it. Also, the product can be chewy when cut thickly, but in a thin slice it will melt in your mouth. Helpful hint: To cut it, use a very sharp, non-serrated knife or request it be sliced “paper thin” at the deli counter and laid out like shingles with little overlap.
In the Speculator role, we are asked to create a recipe using the Italian ham. Looking beyond its functionality in sandwiches or on a charcuterie board, I sought to highlight the product both in a main entrée, as well as in a side dish that I served together for delicious dinner. The recipes I created are: Baked chicken rollatini with roasted tomatoes, Speck Alto Adige prosciutto, cheese and sage; and Pan roasted balsamic green beans with Speck Alto Adige prosciutto and shallots.
Both recipes are detailed below. Each dishes’ flavors were amazing. It was a perfect weekday meal or Sunday supper. The leftovers reheated beautifully the next day and were just as delicious as the first night.
Baked Chicken Rollatini with roasted tomatoes, Speck Alto Adige prosciutto, cheese and sage
4 – 6 thin boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
8 – 12 fresh sage leaves
4 – 6 slices of Speck Alto Adige prosciutto
8 – 12 slices of Italian sharp or mozzarella cheese
Honey roasted tomatoes (recipe available on Juliedible site)
½ cup Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
Rinse the chicken cutlets off in water and dry on paper towels. Using a meat tenderizer mallet, flatten each cutlet to equal thinness. Layer on each cutlet (in this order) a slice of Speck Alto Adige prosciutto, the cheese, roasted tomatoes and two sage leaves.
Roll up each cutlet, carefully tucking in the stuffing items. Secure with a toothpick. Place on a non-stick sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and a roughly torn sage leaf.
Place the chicken in a 400-degree pre-heated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve warm. Yields 4-6 servings, depending on the number of chicken cutlets.
Pan roasted balsamic green beans with Speck Alto Adige prosciutto and shallots
2 lbs green beans, washed and trimmed
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
4 slices of Speck Alto Adige prosciutto cut into tiny chunks
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Transfer to a bowl. Serve warm. Yields 4-6 servings.
Have you tried Speck Alto Adige prosciutto?
What’s your favorite use for prosciutto?
Disclaimer: While I was provided with a complimentary sample of Speck Alto Adige prosciutto, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience.