Pretzel, Mushroom and Prosciutto Muffuletta

11 08 2014

The muffuletta sandwich is a New Orleans classic, made with a special round bread and Italian meats, cheese and an olive spread. Here’s a unique and delicious spin on the classic, made with Orlando’s pretzel buns and grilled portobella mushrooms. If you prefer a slightly less salty bite (I happen to have a strong palate), or a meatless option, simply leave off the proscuitto.

Pretzel, Mushroom and Prosciutto Muffuletta

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, you could also use a Spanish green olive instead
  • 1/4 cup drained giardiniera (jarred Italian relish)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 large portobella mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 2 Orlando Pretzel Hamburger Buns
  • 4 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto (optional)
  • Fontina cheese, sliced (or provolone)
  • Shredded purple cabbage

Add the olives, giardiniera and oregano to a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well combined. Transfer olive spread to a small bowl and add the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Mix to combine and store in the fridge for at least an hour. You can even make this spread the day before – just store covered in the fridge.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Drizzle mushrooms with a little olive oil on both sides. Grill mushrooms uncovered, until grill marks appear and mushrooms are softened, about 2-3 minutes per side. Split the hamburger buns, place the inside part of the bun on the grill and toast, just a few minutes – be careful not to burn. Remove mushrooms and buns from the grill. Place sliced cheese on the mushrooms and tent with foil and rest a few minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.

While the mushrooms are grilling, add the prosciutto to a small saute pan over medium heat and cook until browned and crisp on both sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

To build the sandwiches, spread half the olive salad evenly among all four buns (the tops and the bottoms). Save the remaining olive salad for another sandwich, would be great the next day for lunch! Next, place some of the cabbage on the two bottom buns. Top each with two mushroom caps melted with cheese, slightly overlapping each other. Top each sandwich with two pieces of the crispy prosciutto (optional) and finish by adding the top bun with the olive salad. Secure with a toothpick if needed.

More This Girl recipes featuring Orlando’s Pretzel Buns:

* Buns received courtesy of Orlando Baking Company. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.


Gnocchi With Asparagus and Prosciutto

10 05 2014

Gnocchi can make for a wonderfully quick homemade meal, especially when it’s dressed in a simple olive oil and butter sauce. When I make homemade gnocchi, I save some to freeze for when I need a fast supper option. You can do the same, or use store-bought. Extra bonus about this meal is that you can enjoy it on it’s own, or add a protein of your choice on the side – like grilled chicken. Now, where’s my fork? 🙂

Gnocchi With Asparagus and Prosciutto

The following serves 3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought Gnocchi
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 bunch of thick asparagus, ends trimmed and diagonally cut into thirds
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Good pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter or butter substitute
  • 4-5 large leaves of basil, rolled up like a cigar and thinly sliced
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cut asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes until bright green and crisp. Remove immediately and run until cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Bring the water you used to blanch the asparagus back to a boil. Heads up, the water will be green from the asparagus, but no worries – that just adds flavor!

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm a few Tbsp of oil and add prosciutto. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp. Remove prosciutto to a paper towel-lined plate. Lower heat to medium and add 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Next add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for another minute to flavor the oil. Turn the heat down to low and season lightly with salt to taste. Add the butter, and swirl to melt – this will also help thicken the sauce slightly.

Add the gnocchi to the boiling water, cover and bring up to a rapid boil. Once the gnocchi float to the top, they’re done (this will only take a few minuets, they cook fast). If using store-bought gnocchi, be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package instead. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider strainer and add right to the sauce. Don’t worry about some of the cooking water getting into the sauce, you want that!

Once all the gnocchi are in with the sauce, add the cooked asparagus to the sauce as well. Add half the basil, increase heat to medium and cook everything together, stirring constantly for a minute or two. Taste and season with a little more salt if needed.

Transfer gnocchi, asparagus and all of the sauce to a large serving platter. Garnish with the crisp prosciutto, the rest of the basil, fresh lemon zest and as much parmesean as you like. Serve family style, with more parmesean on the side.

My choice of wine with this dish: Chardonnay.

Multigrain Banana French Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

27 04 2014

This delicious brunch is a great combo of sweet and salty, thanks to the use of bananas in the french toast batter and the topping of crispy prosciutto. Treat yourself to a mimosa to round out this awesome french toast! Salute!

Multigrain Banana French Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

Multigrain Banana French Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

Multigrain Banana French Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

Multigrain Banana French Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 thick slices of day-old multigrain Tuscany bread, or whatever day-old thick bread you like
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup skim milk, you could also use almond or soy milk instead
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla
  • Good sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter or butter substitute
  • 2 pieces, thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • Organic maple agave syrup

Puree mashed bananas, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Dip bread slices in the banana-milk mixture, just enough to coat both sides – be careful not to over soak so the bread doesn’t fall apart. Add to the hot skillet with melted butter and brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side, or until done to your likeness. I like my french toast a bit crispier, so I let mine go a little longer, which you can probably tell from my pics! 🙂

Meanwhile in a small skillet, add chopped prosciutto to a hot pan over medium and cook until crisp all over, tossing occasionally about 5 minutes or so.

To serve, divide french toast among plates and top with crispy prosciutto. Drizzle with organic maple agave syrup, and enjoy with a mimosa of prosecco and orange juice!

Italian Style Croque Madame with Leftover Pesto-Bechamel Sauce

20 01 2014

The French have a classic ham and cheese sandwich with bechamel called the croque monsieur….and when they add a fried egg on top, they call it a croque madame. I read somewhere it’s because the fried egg resembles a hat – I love that!

Today’s brunch had more than one muse. First, I was inspired by France because I had leftover pesto-bechamel from a recipe I recently made (see below for link). And secondly by Italy, because I’m taste-testing for an Italian bread company. So this brunch sandwich is a marriage between the two…the idea and sauce is French while the meat, cheese and bread is Italian. 🙂

I’ve been on a blogger review panel for Orlando Baking Company, testing their True Grains breads (see the bottom of this post for other recipes). Their Seed’licious is the final of the three sample breads I received to try, and is my favorite. This bread is coated with millet, as well as flax, sunflower and chia seeds, which not only provides a good source of fiber and protein, it also promotes digestive health. And better yet, this bread offers a nice crunchy texture. A perfect vehicle for a fancy, but healthy grilled ham and cheese! This madame tips her hat to you, Orlando Baking Company!

Italian Style Croque Madame with Leftover Pesto-Bechamel Sauce

Italian Style Croque Madame with Leftover Pesto-Bechamel Sauce

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat:

Preheat oven to 200.

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat over medium.

Build your sandwiches…spread a little mustard on a slice of bread and add a slice of cheese and then a layer of ham (I used two pieces of prosciutto per sandwich). Spread a little more mustard on a second piece of bread and top the sandwich (mustard-side on top of the ham). Brush some olive oil on the top of the bread and place the olive-oil coated side down in your warmed skillet. While the sandwich starts to cook, brush the other piece of bread (now facing up in your pan) with  a little more olive oil. Cook until the bottom turns a nice golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Remove from heat and transfer to the oven to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the leftover pesto-bechamel sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often until hot.

Spray a little more non-stick spray in the skillet you just used and heat over medium-high. Add eggs (one egg per sandwich) and season with salt and pepper . Fry (untouched) until egg whites set and yolks are still a little runny.

To serve, place a little arugula on the bottom of a plate, top with one sandwich, drizzle with the hot pesto-bechamel sauce and top with a fried egg.

Additional recipes using Orlando True Grains bread:

Raspberry Spinach Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Cherries and Feta Cheese

19 07 2012

Enjoyed this deliciously tart and savory salad for dinner. I wasn’t intending for it to be a masterpiece when I started to make it – I was simply using up ingredients in my fridge to make a simple dinner. But as it turns out it’s quite a winner, earning many kudos! 

Raspberry Spinach Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Cherries and Feta Cheese

The following serves 2:

  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • Couple of slices of prosciutto, diced
  • Handful of black cherries, sliced
  • Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of sunflower seeds
  • Feta cheese, crumbled

Cook the diced prosciutto over medium heat, turning often, until completely crisp. Once crisp, turn off heat and set aside.

Combine spinach, shallots, cherries and tomatoes in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt though because the prosciutto is also salty). Next, dress with olive oil and raspberry vinegar to your liking. Divide among plates and top with sunflower seeds, crispy prosciutto and feta cheese.

Use as much or as little of any of these ingredients to build your own perfect salad!

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

16 02 2012

This simple, hearty pasta recipe is packed with flavor. The crisp prosciutto pairs well with the sweet, tender butternut squash. And since it’s relatively quick to make, this is a great weeknight meal!

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

The following serves 4 (compliments of Scott Conant):

  • 1 medium (about 2 and 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 3 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced and finely chopped (the original recipe called for pancetta which I’m sure would be delicious)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (I substituted red onion, finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, flakes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 – 20  minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add prosciutto or pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. I finished
with about a Tbsp cubed cold butter, tossing everything together until melted. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.

Last Night’s Leftover Ingredients = Today’s Lunch: Provolone & Prosciutto Grilled Cheese With Arugula Salad

5 02 2012

I never leave food behind; I always enjoy leftovers for lunch or use them to create a new dinner; turning those leftover ingredients into thoughtful and creative dishes! For a quick lunch today, I used leftover ingredients from last night’s delicious dinner: Provolone and prosciutto grilled cheese with a simple arugula salad.

Provolone & Prosciutto Grilled Cheese With Arugula Salad

Provolone and prosciutto grilled cheese:

  • 2 slices of Italian bread
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 slice of prosciutto
  • Butter or olive oil garlic spread

Spread slices of bread with butter or an olive oil garlic spread (I get this in the deli of my grocery store for quick garlic bread and grilled cheese recipes). On the inside of a slice of buttered bread, layer one slice of cheese, the slice of prosciutto, next add the other slice of cheese and top with the other piece of buttered bread. Saute in a small skillet over medium-low heat until toasty brown on one side. Flip, pressing down to help the ingredients stick together, and continue toasting until the second side is brown.

Arugula and spring mix salad:

  • Handful of arugula and handful of baby spring mix salad
  • Good sprinkle of garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Drizzle of red wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and taste – adjust the oil and vinegar to your liking. I have a heavy hand when it comes to the vinegar 🙂