Prosciutto and Peach Salsa with Thin Toasts

A few months ago, Janice stumbled upon a food blog which got her particularly excited. Christina Soon-Kroeger – author of The Hungry Australian – started her food blog around the same time I did last year. Yet the quality of her writing, photography and food ideas impressed us greatly. Her life thus far with regard to all things culinary is inspiring. The various elements in her work displayed maturity and experience beyond what one would think a food blog ‘newbie’ would possess. But why were we especially excited about this particular food-blog discovery?

*drum roll* … … …

Because she’s a fellow Adelaide-an too! *booya!* 

Fast forward to a few days ago, something along these lines happened (pardon the Manglish :-)):

Janice: Wei! The Hungry Australian woman started a group for Adelaide Food Bloggers. You should go and join!

Justin:  Huh? Aiyoh, lazy la. Her blog looks so pro. Not up to that kind of standard yet. Pressure lehh…

Janice: GO JOIN LA! Trust your public relations officer ok?! Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

I really don’t remember giving her such a position, but seeing that she was so supportive, I decided to give her suggestion a go. Nothing to lose right?

Indeed, that decision has brought nothing but newfound inspiration! Connecting with fellow food lovers across Adelaide and seeing their creative work in the kitchen has challenged me to set personal goals in the area of recipe creation. Plus, it felt nice belonging to a community who shares the same passion and interests as I do. So, if you’d like to check out some of Adelaide’s closet cooks or if you’re just curious about food establishments well worth the visit, click here! (Thanks for the initiative Christina! I can safely say on behalf of the foodies in the group that we greatly appreciate your efforts. *salutes to chief-eater!*)

Now, back to the matter at hand. This weekend I came up with an entrée dish inspired by the Anchoa –  a tapas-sized dish Janice and I ate at Melbourne’s Movida Aqui last year. The idea of replacing the Anchoa’s element of saltiness from the Cantabrian Artisan anchovies with good ol’ prosciutto and it’s sweet melon sorbet with my own Mexican-inspired salsa has been lingering in my head all week. When Sunday afternoon came, I was eager and ready to transform an idea into reality. How did it fair?

Simply refreshing and delicious too! It was like Movida all over again with my own twist! Biting into it, the first thing that registered was the crunch from the thin toast and the hit of saltiness from the prosciutto. But not long after that, the acidity and spiciness from the peach salsa began to set in – balancing out any outstanding flavours. I was privileged to have five good friends to pose as the judging panel, and well they all seemed to like it so I guess it was quite the success. It is definitely going to be one of my favourite canapé choices for future dinner/lunch parties.

PROSCIUTTO AND PEACH SALSA WITH THIN TOASTS

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ½ round loaf of sourdough bread, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 8 thin prosciutto slices
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Peach Salsa

  • 3 ripe yellow peaches, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • ½ large bunch of flat-leaved parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • jalapeños, (amount dependent on your tolerance for spiciness)
  • 2 limes

Preparing the peach salsa should come first because it will need some refrigeration time to allow the flavours to interact with one another.

Using a sharp paring knife, peel the peaches and core them. Cut them into 1 cm thick slices and proceed to dice them into cubes.

Next, finely dice half a red onion.

Pluck the leaves off the parsley stems and chop them up finely. Reserve 1 tbsp of chopped parsley and set aside for the bread toasts.

Finely dice the jalapeños. I leave the amount to your discretion, it really depends on your tolerance for spiciness. I love a good kick of heat in my food, so I used roughly 2 tbsp worth of the Mexican goodness (doesn’t show in the picture I’m afraid)!

Mix all the salsa ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl.

Grate the zest of one lime in …

 … and squeeze the juice of two limes to top it off. Don’t squeeze them too hard or you’ll get some of the white pith in as well. We don’t want too much bitterness going in, just the acidic, tangy hits from the lime juice 🙂 .

 Give everything in a bowl a few tosses with a spoon, cling wrap it and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Now time to prepare the thin toasts. Before we do anything to the bread, preheat the oven to 200°C. Using ½ a standard round loaf of sourdough bread from your local bakery will yield you about 8-9 serves of toast. For this dish, we will only be using the whitish crumb and leaving the crust out to use another day. Using a bread knife, slice the loaf into 1-2cm thick slices.

Then, cut the inside of each slice to remove the outer crust. Do not throw them! You can freeze them to make croutons for salads or soups on another day.

Using a rolling pin, give it a good flattening to thin out the bread slices as much as you can. Janice summoned all the energy her little biceps could give, so you should too!

Mix the extra virgin olive oil together with the chopped parsley which was reserved earlier in a small bowl.

Place the thinned bread slices on a baking tray and drizzle the parsley oil over the slices generously.

Bake in the oven which was preheated to 200°C earlier for roughly 10 minutes or until the slices begin to crisp and brown slightly. Remove from oven when ready and allow them to cool under room temperature.

Now for the last bit of cooking, pour some EVOO into a hot pan. Place the prosciutto slices in and pan-fry over medium to high heat for a few minutes until crisp and slightly browned.

Remove from pan and place them on some absorbent paper towels to remove excess oil.

Time for the final assembly! With the crisp thin toast at the bottom, place a slice of prosciutto on top followed by a generous dollop of peach salsa. How easy can it get? So give it a try and tell me what you think!

 

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Comments
7 Responses to “Prosciutto and Peach Salsa with Thin Toasts”
  1. your biggest fan says:

    loving your new header! You’re getting better at this!

    ps: I want beef carpaccio next!

  2. kristen says:

    you should be really proud of yourself, justin! your very own recipe 🙂 I enjoyed it sooo much, especially the salsa–i could eat a whole bowl of it! happy to be ur guinea pig anytime!

  3. This recipe looks absolutely sensational, Justin – I can just imagine how good this would taste. Cooking is such a rewarding creative process and I can see you’ve had a great time with this dish.

    Thanks for the very kind words, too. It’s been wonderful to meet so many passionate foodies through this food blogging caper 😉 See you at the next Adelaide Food Bloggers Group meetup!

  4. I’m guessing these didn’t last long. With summer on the way horizon again & i can see a few different versions floating around my empty mind already 🙂
    (picture homer simpson thinking)
    Those Jalepenos are genius. I could eat them all day long 🙂
    nice work!

    • Justin says:

      Yes they were really delicious! Cured meats like prosciutto always seem to go well with summer fruits. I’m doing a mango salsa version for an upcoming wedding catering gig.

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  1. […] fellow Adelaide blog called A Kitchen for Friends as it’s publisher, one Justin Chai, published a post in which he said some nice things about this […]



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