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. In the recipe here, adapted from Mitchell Rosenthal’s Cooking My Way Back Home, it’s used to take a Miami favorite to the next level.
Carole Kotkin is manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.”