Prosciutto and Salmon, Who Knew!?

Rather than start with the first thing I made this week, I’m going to start with the last. It was a fun and a sad week of cooking. The fun was using some new ingredients and having some friends over for dinner while their kitchen is being remodeled. The sad was our normal Sunday family dinner was short two people due to illness. I’m looking forward to this next week being a little more normal.

Grilled Pork Chops with Mango and Herb Salad

On Tuesday my friend Karen and her husband Jason came by for dinner. They are in the midst of remodeling their own kitchen, and it does get a little old eating out every night (I remember the challenges of meal prep during our own remodel several years ago). Even though it is still winter, we grill year-round in our house—rain, sleet or snow doesn’t stop us.

This meal started on Monday evening. The pork chops called for marinating them for at least an hour, and up to 24-hours. Due to time constraints, I opted to go for the 24, and I’m glad I did. That amount of time really let the flavors of the herbs permeate throughout the whole chop. I will toot my own horn for a moment, my pork chops are often a little dry when I grill. This time though, they came out perfectly. Not sure it if was the long marinade keeping it moist, or I finally have captured the timing correctly. It must have been good because one of the diners had thirds!

Fried Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Fried chicken overall isn’t too much of a challenge. A little dredging in some salt and peppered flour, an egg bath, and a little roll in some seasoned bread crumbs and the chicken is ready to go. Having the patience to wait for the oil to reach the correct temperate is the challenge for me. It can take a very long time for oil to reach 350º. Thank goodness for the versatility of a chocolate thermometer; it works in chocolate, caramel, and oil. Always remember to lay the chicken into the oil away from you to help prevent burns and splashing.

What made this sandwich though was the Caesar spread. It was so good it had to be lathered thickly on the top and the bottom of the bun. If lettuce is your thing, feel free to add some for a little more crunch. I had cheese out for those who wanted to add a little extra to their sandwich. A plus to this meal is how quickly it can be made. The hubby was due to fly out the evening I made this. Rather than make him have some expensive less than flavorful airport food, I was able to send him off with a home meal cooked with a lot o’ love.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper-Parsley Sauce

The first recipe of the week, a planned family Sunday dinner meal, was prosciutto-wrapped salmon. I wasn’t sure in the beginning how these two meats would go together. Let’s just say, you will not be disappointed with the flavor. With the browning of the prosciutto after wrapping the salmon, and its slightly salty taste, the two together was a little heaven on the tongue. It was paired with the same mashed potatoes (with a little chef license in changing the recipe slightly), from the bangers and mash from last week—yes, they were good enough to get added into the regular mix.

As good as the taste, it was a bit of a disaster getting it all on the plate. First, take note, watch the color of the prosciutto in the package. There were only a few packages left at the store, so there was a mixture of darker and lighter cuts. The lighter cuts came off the separation paper easier and tore far less than the darker cuts. I also discovered there are only six slices in the four ounce package. Thankfully I bought two packages as it took two slices to cover each salmon patty (Tip: Costco carries frozen skinless salmon fillets for a really good price).

The other painful disaster in prepping this meal was a hot handle. To finish off the salmon, it goes into the oven in an oven safe frying pan. Most of my frying pans are fine for the oven. All was good until I went to take the salmon out of the pan for the first round of cooking. With the papas not feeling well, I had said I would bring them a doggy bag so they wouldn’t have to cook.

Unfortunately, I didn’t put a pot holder over the handle like I usually do. In attempting to take the salmon out of the pan, it was sliding around and wouldn’t go on the spatula. So, I did what most anyone would do, I grabbed the handle to hold the skillet in place. Such a rookie mistake which caused me to get a bad burn on three of my fingers. It is amazing how much burn can happen in less than a second. Since I’m not new to the rodeo on burning myself, I immediately ran my fingers under very cold water, followed by ice in a bag placed on the burn.

Thankfully we had some burn ointment to place on it. I lathered it on and put some bandages on each finger. Next was a strong dose of some ibuprofen, which dulled the pain to a manageable amount. In my mind, it was my quick thinking that helped keep the pain and blistering to a minimum. No bursting of blisters and the pain was gone overnight. It will take a few more days to fully heal, but it could have been much worse.

Not one to let a good lesson pass, when I made the next batch for dinner at home, there was definitely a pot holder on the pan. I really didn’t feel like burns on the other hand. Even though I would have preferred not to have been burned, in some ways the pain was worth the taste, It was another meal the kids really liked too. This particular recipe will be one of those special dinners made for some special guests. I really want to make it again because it was so good.

Wonder whom I can I invite over soon?

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