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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheap Chic at the Table: French-style

It seems that every trip has a taste memory. Our first trip to Paris together (children with grandparents--merci beaucoup) is evoked by the memory of the coffee served in Hotel Vernueil, a splurge for us (both hotel and breakfast) unlikely to be repeated.

On our last trip, we were lucky enough to have meals with three families, all arranged by the people whose home we stayed in. At two, we had prunes wrapped in ham. That's the recipe. Heat in oven. How could that be so good? The teenage boys of our second dinner hosts were ecstatic also, never having had it.

Here is an official recipe: Prunes and cured ham
Amuse-bouche jambon pruneaux

These ham appetizers a warm and satisfying treat, with next to no effort. If you're going to do just do one appetizer, pick this one. It is fast, fast, fast and delicious.
4 ounces raw ham, such as jambon de Bayonne or prosciutto
20 pitted prunes (I prefer smaller ones for this, so that the final roll is small enough to eat in one bite)
Slice the ham in about one inch by six inch slices. Place a prune on each and roll up. Place under the broiler until the ham sizzles - about 2 minutes depending on your broiler.

Careful to let these cool a bit before enjoying - the hot prune can burn your mouth. If you want, you could add a toothpick afterwards, but don't put these under the grill.

I am a recent convert to prunes. As a child, I associated them with very old people. They are now called dried plums, in order to them of the fusty associations.

Mr FS and I bought a tiny amount of prosciutto at Whole Foods. This was enough to make us a small portion of the prunes before 4 or 5 dinners.

They were as good as we remembered.


Duchesse said...
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Duchesse said...

(Too many typos in previous comment.) I love these! And their cousin, dates wrapped in bacon (prepared same way). My mother's weakness was hors d'oeuvres; she could not stop eating them, then was not interested in the meal. When she was very old I sometimes made her dinners of only hors d'oeuvres.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--I can only wonder--where was this dish all my life??