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November 22, 2014 / mintcustard

A celebratory evening for Parma ham specialists Terroni and sons.

Terroni and Sons, Clerkenwell.

Terroni and Sons, Clerkenwell.

You know that list you have in your head, the one entitled “when I win the lottery I will ….” Well, near the top of mine is ‘buy a house on the island of Ischia.’ Noisy, bustling and lapped by the warm waters of the Bay of Naples it is a place I love. I don’t get to visit too often but last week I found another little piece of Italy far nearer to my home, and it is one I shall be returning to soon.

On Monday 17th November, Terroni & Son’s hosted an exclusive Parma Ham celebratory evening to mark their status as winners of the Parma Ham Specialist programme, 2013. Well known chef Aldo Zilli presented the 2013 Specialist programme winners with their Crown Anniversary Slicer. I and my fellow guests were invited to try a selection of Parma Ham themed canapés; fine Italian prosecco and freshly sliced Parma Ham throughout the evening. Oh goodness. I could , and indeed think I may have tried, to have eaten my body weight in the most delicious Parma ham canapes.

Parma Ham is a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product and is 100% natural. The drying process that Parma Ham goes through creates a ham that is very low in fat content, with many mineral salts, vitamins, antioxidants and easily digestible proteins. Prosciutto di Parma is produced in the hills surrounding the Italian town of Parma, a northern town in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. The unique, sweet taste of Parma Ham is dependent on this traditional production process passed down from Roman times, carefully controlled by the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma. There are over 150 Parma Ham producers in Italy who continue to practice these methods.

Aldo Zilli and the Ferrari of Parma ham slicers.

Aldo Zilli and the Ferrari of Parma ham slicers.

Terroni & Son’s is London’s oldest delicatessen, having been established in 1878. They offer a wide range of Italian foods and provisions including speciality wines and cured meats. Its prime location next door to the Italian church, St. Peter’s in Clerkenwell has made it synonymous with the local Italian population. Carrying over 130 years of experience, Terroni have a reputation as the number one delicatessen in London. Terroni & Son’s showcased extensive knowledge of Parma Ham in addition to understanding how to perfectly handle, prepare and slice the product. These fantastic qualities, history and focused approach all contributed to them being named the UK Specialist of 2013.

Not only that, they had the most wonderful looking selection of goodies on their menu board. I have a feeling they make a killer expresso too. I’m going back soon to find out.

Here are three of the recipes from the evening. All delicious – I can vouch for this as I tried them all! Ideal for a Christmas drinks party, New years eve or just a night in watching the Italian Job!

Parma ham wrapped bocconcini.

Parma ham wrapped bocconcini.

Chilli-lemon and coriander drenched bocconicini wrapped in Parma Ham

Makes 20 canapés

20 mozzarella pearls

10 slices Parma Ham

Marinade:

2 tbsp coriander, chopped

Zest and juice of 2 limes

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tbsp runny honey

  • Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the mozzarella pearls

  • Leave, covered, to marinate for 1-4 hours

  • Wrap each mozzarella ball in half a slice of Parma Ham and skewer with a cocktail stick before serving to guests

Canapes!

Canapes!

Parma Ham, goats cheese, avocado and fresh herb bruschetta

Makes 10 bruschettas

10 thin slices of ciabatta bread

Olive oil

1 clove garlic

5 basil leaves

2 avocados, peeled, stoned, sliced and drenched in lemon juice

100g crumbly goats cheese

Zest of 1 lemon

50g pistachios, roughly chopped

2 handfuls mint leaves, roughly chopped

10 slices Parma Ham

  • Rub each slice of ciabatta with a little olive oil before lightly toasting each side on a hot griddle

  • Remove the toasts from the griddle and rub basil and garlic into each. Season with a little salt and pepper then leave to cool

  • Top each brushetta with avocado slices, goats cheese, lemon zest, pistachios and mint leaves

  • Drizzle each bruschetta with a little olive oil before finishing with a slice of Parma Ham

Parma Ham, peppered cream-cheese and Parmesan blinis with homemade pesto

Makes 20 cocktail blinis

125g cream cheese

1 tsp cracked black pepper

20 cocktail blinis

20 basil leaves

10 slices Parma Ham, halved

Pesto:

1 handful basil

Zest of 1 lemon

20g pine nuts

20g grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic

Pinch black pepper

  • Blend together the ingredients for the pesto, cover and leave in the fridge until needed

  • Mix together the cream cheese and black pepper and leave covered in the fridge until needed

  • When you’re ready to assemble the blinis, simply spread a little peppered cream cheese over each blini, press a basil leaf into the cheese and top with a little homemade pesto before finishing with half a slice of Parma Ham

All photos in this post were taken by John Holdship for The Dialogue Agency.

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