A Fork on the Road

Pig out with a Spanish specialty at Jamon Iberico Pata Negra



Spanish Potato Salad with Garlic

This dish is adapted from Food.com and makes a great appetizer served with olives and roasted red peppers.

3/4 pound red skin potatoes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender; peel and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, garlic and parsley. Fold the potatoes into the sauce and season with salt to taste. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 268 calories (72 percent from fat), 22 g fat (3.3 g saturated, 5.4 g monounsaturated), 10.5 mg cholesterol, 2.2 g protein, 16.8 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 163 mg sodium.

If you go

What: Jamon Iberico Pata Negra Restaurant

Address: 10 SW River Dr. in the Neo Loft Building, downtown Miami

Contact: 305-324-1111, ibericopatanegra.com

Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, noon-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Tapas $12-$55, soups and salads $8-$15, entrees $15-$35, desserts $8


Cured Spanish ham is edible alchemy developed over the centuries. Whole hams in sacks are found dangling in the front window of Jamon Iberico Pata Negra. The small restaurant in a condo is named after the purebred Iberian pigs with black hooves used to make jamon. Wood racks hold bottles of wine and there is a small counter where one can enjoy a few tapas with a glass of vino. Sit at a table to share a big pan of paella, roast suckling pig with garlic aioli or sea bass in lemon caper sauce.

Spanish chef-owner Felipe Perez is from Avila in Castile-Leon province. He trained as a chef in Madrid and cooked in restaurants and hotels in the Spanish capital before working on cruise ships, where he met his Caribbean-born wife. They landed in Miami in 1975 and Felipe worked at the helm of several Spanish restaurants. A few years ago he opened Jamon, Jamon, Jamon. He recently reopened in the same spot with a new name and menu.

In their habitat, Iberian pigs roam free and gorge on acorns in the dehesa (oak pastures) of several regions, all denomination-controlled. Their salted hindquarters and shoulders are matured in cool caves for several years. The resulting Jamon Iberia bellota is considered the best in the world. The burgundy-colored meat streaked with white fat has a silky texture and slightly sweet, nutty, mineral taste. Try the 5J brand produced in Andalusia, thinly sliced and fanned out on a plate here or with “broken eggs” (soft scrambled with chunks of fried potato). Shrimp and scallop paella is made with Valencia pearl rice and topped with a thin layer of omelet. Game includes rabbit with chocolate sauce and gin, pheasant with sherry and deer chops with whiskey and figs.

Torta de Orujo brings a slice of airy cake infused with the anise- and herb-flavored digestive liqueur, needed after a feast here.

Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.

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