Many of us think of prosciutto as a store-bought ham strictly for summer meals. However, prosciutto is actually easy to make yourself and is a terrific ingredient for year-round cooking. Chefs Clark Fraiser and Mark Gaier, owners of Arrows restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, were invited on the “Today” show to share tips on how to prepare this delicacy. Here are the recipes:
Commercial prosciutto makers use temperature- and humidity-controlled rooms to ensure consistency with every batch. You won't have that advantage at home, but here’s a way to approximate the perfect environment with an electric fan and a common light timer, available at any hardware or discount store. It's not strictly necessary, but it dries the ham faster and requires little attention once you've set it up.
This recipe is not a direct translation of any dish, but more an impression of the spicy and intense flavors of northern China. It's also a good way to use up the small ends of prosciutto hams (you can substitute good Virginia ham). It bears a resemblance to clam chowder, which traditionally includes bacon, but the black beans, dark wine, and soy sauce give this dish a heartier flavor.
The world can't seem to agree on what constitutes a cockle. In New England they are tiny sea snails picked from the rockweed at low tide, but in New Zealand cockles are buttery-tasting clams with very little sand and no neck. (They are one of the so-called Venus shells, a group of clams that includes the larger and more familiar quahog.) If you can't find New Zealand cockles, littlenecks or other small clams work well.
Persimmons With Prosciutto and Pomegranate SyrupClark Fraiser and Mark Gaier
Makes 6 servings
Arrange 3 slices of the prosciutto on each of 6 plates. Slice the persimmon thinly and arrange on the plates. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on the prosciutto. Drizzle a small amount of the pomegranate syrup over the persimmons.
Toss the rocket with the white wine vinegar and olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on the plates and serve at once.
9123482605752693527771prosciutto18slice18 thin slices prosciuttopersimmons22 large ripe persimmonsSeedsSeeds of 1 pomegranatePomegranate syruprocket2ounce2 ounces rocket (arugula) or other greenwhite wine vinegar2tablespoon2 tablespoons white wine vinegarextra virgin olive oil0.25cup1/4 cup extra virgin olive oilSalt and pepper