Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prosciutto di San Daniele and Kale Ravioli with Chicken and Apple

There are lovely, tender kale leaves in the garden right now....Or should I say, there were lovely, tender kale leaves (It will grow back).   I have been just waiting for the leaves to get big enough, so this dish could be created.  You can easily buy kale in the produce section, as well.  Ravioli with Prosciutto di San Daniele and kale, what a wonderful way to eat your greens!


My Prosciutto di San Daniele and kale ravioli is paired with chicken and apple.  A good way to usher in the changing seasons!  The ravioli can be served in many ways, with a plethora of sauces.  Here you see that it was boiled, drained, lightly toasted in the pan with some olive oil and served with a cream sauce and sprinkled with cheese.

Ingredient List:


200 grams  (7 ounces) flour
Handful of semolina
2 eggs
Pinch of salt


1/2 lb. Prosciutto di San Daniele (buy in a chunk and small dice)
1 bunch kale (Remove the tough veins, blanche and shock, cool, remove all water and rough chop)
1/4 cup small diced apple
1/2 lb. ground chicken
Handful of bread crumbs (I used panko)
A few pinches of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Makes 40 ravioli


For the dough start with the flour, add a handful of semolina and a pinch of salt.  Add the eggs and a tablespoon of water.  Start mixing with a paddle attachment on the mixer, keep adding water slowly by the tablespoon until the dough comes together in a ball.  Then, change the attachment to a dough hook.  Mix until smooth.  Wrap with cling film and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For the filling start by putting the chicken in a food processor with the bread crumbs and a few ice cubes.  Process to a fine paste-like consistency and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  You can do small fry tests to get the seasoning just right, adjust accordingly.  In a bowl fold in and mix the chicken with the rest of the filling ingredients.   


                                       To assemble the ravioli divide the dough into four equal pieces.  Roll out the dough pieces one by one with a pasta machine.  Flour a board and lay out the first rolled section of dough.  Trim the ends and cut evenly in half.  One section will be the bottom, where you place heaping teaspoons of filling evenly along the strip of dough, ten spoonfuls total.  Brush egg wash all around the filling and carefully place the top section of dough on top.
Work the dough with your fingers and seal the edges, trying to get the air pockets out.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the edges and press the edges together again to adjust the seal.  Place on a flat surface that has been generously floured.  Repeat until the dough and filling are used up.  Boil a big pot of water.  One batch at a time, boil the ravioli until they float to the top and drain (skip this part, if you want to make toasted ravioli in a deep fryer).  Let the ravioli dry out a bit.

Heat a skillet up with some olive oil and lightly toast the ravioli.  Serve with a sauce of your choice!  This would be very fine with brown butter poured over it.

Here you can see all the Prosciutto di San Daniele shining in the filling!




"Eat your greens!"  - Mom

Friday, September 7, 2012

Savory Herb Biscotti Wrapped In Prosciutto di San Daniele

If you love to dunk biscotti into a nice cup of coffee, here is another idea for you.  Savory biscotti to dunk into soup.   This version of a savory biscotti is packed full of herbs with added parmesan cheese.

First collect an array of different fresh herbs.  Collect them from the store, or a garden.  If you want to use dried, that should be fine.

In this version of the recipe there is summer savory, rosemary, parsley, thyme and oregano.  You will need 2 tablespoons total.  You can use a mixture of whatever herbs your heart desires.  This mixture did a nice job, however.  Place your mixture in a bowl and cut up into small pieces with kitchen shears.  I eliminated salt in this recipe, the cheese and the prosciutto are salty enough.

Ingredient List:

  4 oz. pkg. thinly sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele, cut in half the long direction 
2 tbsp. herbs, chopped
2 tbsp. grated parmesan
1 tbsp. cracked pepper
2 c. flour
1/4 c. semolina
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lrg. eggs
1/2 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 350 deg.  Measure dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend them evenly.  Cut the butter up and add with the olive oil to the dry ingredients.  Mix into a course meal, fold in the herbs, cracked pepper and cheese.  Add 1 egg and half the milk and mix slowly, when that is incorporated, add the other egg and the rest of the milk.  Make a smooth dough.  Pour the dough out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Lightly flour you hands and press the dough flat, then dust flour on top of the dough evenly.  Now you can work the dough into a rectangle about 12 inches long, 4 inches wide and 3/4 of an inch thick.  Place in the oven and bake for  30 minutes.  When the first baking is done, place on a cooling rack.  Turn the oven down to 300 deg.         

When the biscotti is cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into approximately 18 slices.  Wrap one end with a prosciutto strip.  Place biscotti cut side down with the ends of the prosciutto down, on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake a second time for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and dried out.   Cool on a rack.


Serve with Soup.

 It is great with Minestrone, or any other brothy soup.

  Don't forget to dunk!

Store in a nice cookie, or biscotti jar, or another air-tight container in the refrigerator.

This is a double batch, minus the biscotti we had for lunch. 




The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.  ~Confucius


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Little Blog Update In The Garden

 A stroll through the garden via pictures.  Starting with a flower forest.


   Tomato Forest!

Hopping by......

Tomatillos, cukes, fennel and celery.

 Poblano peppers, pumpkin, habanero, and another poblano.

A "Thank You Pinerest" moment.  
           Cowboy Candy, or otherwise known as candied jalapeno.  
       The jalapenos are from the garden, of course.   
This has a thumbs up from Sean!  
They should be even better in a few weeks.

A bumper crop of Thai chilis.  We made some Thai green chili paste, adding kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal.  We also left some on the plants to turn red, for the respective paste.  There are plenty of "babies" and flowers on the plants too.

Another thumbs up from Sean!

Returning soon with another Prosciutto di San Daniele idea.



I just had to add my all time favourite band, everytime a chili is mentioned........



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Leek, Chard, and Potato Soup with Prosciutto di San Daniele Shards

There is a festival in honour of Prosciutto di San Daniele called Aria di Festa annually in June at San Daniele, Italy.  At Aria di Festa, there are tastings of the ham, culinary courses, and tours of the factory.  The website dedicated to Prosciutto di San Daniele has this to say about the region and how it flavours the ham: 

 "A vital element is the good air that prevails here, where the winds that descend from the Carnic Alps meet those coming from the Adriatic, carrying resinous scents which mix with brackish aromas in an environment where humidity and temperature are regulated by the morainic land and the waters of the Tagliamento, one of the last European rivers to preserve its original course. One could be forgiven for thinking that the secret is now unveiled, captured in a technical term - the microclimate - but to understand Prosciutto di San Daniele, we must go deeper into the consciousness of the place and the identity of its people, who have always played their part in ensuring that authentic Prosciutto di San Daniele arrives on our tables. "

I not only have come to appreciate the differing qualities of Prosciutto doing these blogs about Prosciutto di San Daniele, I have also learned once and for all (hopefully) how to spell it correctly.  Wonder how long that will stick.  Anyway, onward to soup!

Ingredient List:

3 oz. thinly sliced Prosciutto di San Daniele
1 bunch chard
2 lrg. leeks
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 lrg. potatoes
2 celery stalks
1 c. water
1/2 c. half and half
1 Bouquet Garni
2 c. chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
 Juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper

Blanch the chard.  Place in refrigerator.


Clean the leeks and celery and roughly chop them into medium size.  Sweat the leeks and celery with the olive oil in a large pot and add the garlic.


Peel the potatoes and roughly chop to medium size.  Add the potatoes to the pot, along with chicken stock, water and the  Bouquet Garni.  Cook until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove the Bouquet Garni and make the ingredients smooth with a hand blender.


                    Get two baking sheets and line one with parchment paper.  Lay the Prosciutto di San Daniele on the paper.  Next, lay another piece of parchment paper over the top, then top that with another baking sheet.  Place in a 400 deg. oven and top with a weight, something heavy and oven safe (like a cast iron pot lid).   Cook this way for 15 minutes, or until crispy.  You can do this ahead and have it waiting, or while the soup cooks.


When the Prosciutto di San Daniele cools break into crumbles, but save larger shards to garnish the final product (about 4 to 6 servings).

To finish the soup fold in the lemon juice, half and half, then the crumbles and chard.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Heat through and serve.

There you have it, so get stuck in.   Buon appetito! 



"I live on good soup, not on fine words."-Moliere