Sunday, September 6, 2009

Prosciutto



As I am a college student, I am really, really poor.

As I am Pennsylvania Dutch, I am also really, really frugal. I believe the expression is “tighter than a fish’s ass.” (Thanks, Mrs. Church.)

But I am also a serious foodie. You all know this. I love expensive meals at restaurants, good cheese, and can be very particular about the quality of ingredients. It creates somewhat of a problem. Laura (my roommate) and I have been very careful about how much we spend for groceries—between the two of us, the first week we spent about $20, the second about $25.

And do you know where we spent that extra $5 the second week, and on what? That’s right. At DiBruno Brothers, on prosciutto.

Prosciutto, for those of you who don’t know, is an Italian cured ham that is sliced ultra thin. It practically melts in your mouth and is one of the greatest things ever to happen to food. This having been said, they charge about $20 a pound for it.

It was so worth it.

This recipe gives prosciutto a form and function as a cup or crust for a baked egg. It’s great for breakfast, but two of these at dinner with a side of homefries can be a really filling meal. Baking the cherry tomatoes gives them a really delicious roasted flavor, too.

This recipe also calls for cheddar. I found that kind of boring. While I was at DiBruno Brothers, I asked the fromagier for a suggestion. First he said Pecorino Romano (a fine choice), but I was hoping for something that would melt better. He gave me a Cacio (de Lazio), which is just a young Pecorino. It’s a semi firm sheep’s milk cheese and, aside from being absolutely delightful melted, it’s a great table cheese.

Individual prosciutto, spinach and egg “pies”
From Sara Foster's Casual Cooking

Olive oil for greasing muffin tins
6 thin slices prosciutto
6 large eggs
1 c spinach, roughly chopped
1 oz cheddar (or Pecorino Romano, or Cacio), shredded (1/4 c)
12 grape tomatoes, halfed

Preheat the oven to 350. Using a paper towel, grease six cups of the muffin tin with olive oil.
Line the cups with the prosciutto slices. Crack 1 egg into each cup. Sprinkle spinach and cheese. Top with tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until egg whites are firm and yolks are starting to set but still soft in the center. Set them aside to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the prosciutto cups to loosen.

3 comments:

Oby Ballinger said...

I'm just starting my time as a server in an Italian restaurant--Romano's Macaroni Grill. They use prosciutto in a few of their dishes, and it's super tasty! This looks like another great way to feature that great flavor. Nicely done!

Amber Danese said...

Mmm, looks delicious, simple and cheap, something that is perfect for me here in Italy! plus, as you know, Prosciutto is abundant here. I will be trying this one out.

Anonymous said...

This dish looks fabulous, as I am a very big fan of trying new italian dishes and prosciutto! I am writing the recipe down and trying this out VERY soon! Your blog is so awesome [understatement] by the way...