Prosciutto di Parma (Short Stack 03/12)

Another month, another Short Stack! This month’s was Prosciutto di Parma, which was great because prosciutto is one of my favorite meat products and I really enjoyed learning new ways to cook with it that aren’t just “slap it in between a bagel with fresh mozzarella and call it a sandwich” (although that ‘recipe’ is really good, I promise).

I did better than I thought I would, given that prosciutto di Parma can be expensive and given the other things I had going on this month. I shot for CASE/BY/CASE NYC for the first time this year, a wonderful interview with the incredibly inspiring Ale Lariu, who spoke with us about the unique challenges that women (and mothers in particular) face in the workforce. I love shooting for C/B/C — I’ve learned so much and been privy to so many fascinating, educational conversations. I like to think of myself as someone who can get excited about anything so long as I’m interacting with someone who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. There are very few subjects that outright bore me. I’m thinking here of another C/B/C interview, this one discussing data science, which I really know next to nothing about and yet found so interesting. (I won’t go on here, but you should read it.)

This is really my goal in doing this Short Stack project: I want to get enthusiastic about ingredients I don’t know anything about. This month, though, I fell back into old loves, culinary and academic. I’m working on a sourcebook for Onyx Path’s Changeling: the Lost, a tabletop roleplaying game I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Literally, I vividly remember toting the core book (and the main World of Darkness rulebook, since back then they parceled out mechanics into a separate book that you had to have to play, which was ridiculous, but anyway…) on college visits. I’d sit at a hotel desk and pull out the books and some printed character sheets and dream people up. I was 16 then; I’m 26 now. This game has been with me for a long time, and I’m so damn excited to be part of its 2nd edition — but I digress, sort of.

As part of my freelance assignment, I’ve spent the last month and a half reading fairy tales and folklore from around the world, something I was really passionate about in high school and university that fell off after I started working in journalism. A lot of things fell off because of journalism. It’s very hard to switch your brain back and forth between reading and writing 500-word news articles and reading and writing fiction. It’s been lovely to revisit that, like curling up in a comfortable old blanket. Eating prosciutto di Parma is the same way, a comfort food I’ve loved for a long time, nourishing my body like fairy tales nourish my mind. It feels fitting that this overlapped.


Book: Prosciutto di Parma, Sara Jenkins (Short Stack Editions)

Recipes made: 6/20


Wilted Greens with Prosciutto:  I like the idea of this, but didn’t love the execution — I found it to be a bit oily and also too hot (both of which were probably my own fault, as I quartered the recipe and that sort of reduction can be hard). I’d love to try the full recipe again and see what happens.

Wilted Greens with Prosciutto: I like the idea of this, but didn’t love the execution — I found it to be a bit oily and also too hot (both of which were probably my own fault, as I quartered the recipe and that sort of reduction can be hard). I’d love to try the full recipe again and see what happens.

Cheesy Prosciutto Bread:  I have no idea if it’s the recipe or if it’s somehow me, but Jesus christ this was  peppery , like far too much black pepper than anyone has ever needed ever. I didn’t grind most of it fine enough because it takes one million years to grind even just one tablespoon of black pepper (I don’t own a spice grinder it’s fine I’m fine). When my mouth wasn’t full of pepper, this was delicious and I’d like to try it again, but yeah, the pepper…did a whole lot.

Cheesy Prosciutto Bread: I have no idea if it’s the recipe or if it’s somehow me, but Jesus christ this was peppery, like far too much black pepper than anyone has ever needed ever. I didn’t grind most of it fine enough because it takes one million years to grind even just one tablespoon of black pepper (I don’t own a spice grinder it’s fine I’m fine). When my mouth wasn’t full of pepper, this was delicious and I’d like to try it again, but yeah, the pepper…did a whole lot.

Grits with Prosciutto & Gravy:  I’d never made grits before, which is probably a major source of shame to my Louisiana family, but I’m also very glad my first time making them was for this recipe! I think my girlfriend said it best: “I am going to shove my entire face into this prosciutto, grits and gravy thing.” There’s really nothing else to be done.

Grits with Prosciutto & Gravy: I’d never made grits before, which is probably a major source of shame to my Louisiana family, but I’m also very glad my first time making them was for this recipe! I think my girlfriend said it best: “I am going to shove my entire face into this prosciutto, grits and gravy thing.” There’s really nothing else to be done.

Spinach Salad with Prosciutto Vinaigrette & Egg Mimosa:  Look, I don’t know how to photograph salad, and I don’t know how to make it either. I burned/charred (if we’re being generous) the prosciutto for the vinaigrette, and I didn’t boil the egg hard enough because I prefer runny yolks. I didn’t finish this. I’d like to try it again sometime, but maybe I’ll practice with a cheaper form of pork first.

Spinach Salad with Prosciutto Vinaigrette & Egg Mimosa: Look, I don’t know how to photograph salad, and I don’t know how to make it either. I burned/charred (if we’re being generous) the prosciutto for the vinaigrette, and I didn’t boil the egg hard enough because I prefer runny yolks. I didn’t finish this. I’d like to try it again sometime, but maybe I’ll practice with a cheaper form of pork first.

Egg Tagliolini with Prosciutto, Butter & Parmesan:  So so so good. I’d never made fresh pasta from scratch, and I didn’t cut the noodles thin enough, but whatever, everything here was harmonious and delicious and I’m very excited to make it again.

Egg Tagliolini with Prosciutto, Butter & Parmesan: So so so good. I’d never made fresh pasta from scratch, and I didn’t cut the noodles thin enough, but whatever, everything here was harmonious and delicious and I’m very excited to make it again.

Migas de Pastor:  These are Spanish-style migas, which I suppose was only right for my first attempt, given my background. They are very good and very easy and I ate a few spoonfuls just like this before…

Migas de Pastor: These are Spanish-style migas, which I suppose was only right for my first attempt, given my background. They are very good and very easy and I ate a few spoonfuls just like this before…

…I put an egg on it. Even better.

…I put an egg on it. Even better.

Down South

I haven't really used my RB67 since December, when I was in Canada, taking photos I thought I was going to like at the time but didn't really later on. I like these a lot, though. At the end of March I went down to Louisiana for the first time since summer 2015 (which, incidentally, was when I used the RB67 for the first time!). I toted around my cameras (which was easy, because we drove everywhere, so). I took a lot of photos. This is just one day, at my Papou's house, walking around his pond with my camera as the sun began to set.