Mariel here. Since I spent last week camping out in the Adirondacks, I didn’t get a chance to sample my mom’s amazing-looking Potato, Gruyere and Canadian Bacon Galette. In fact, the description of this tasty creation seemed to burrow itself into my brain and lodge there, so much so that I did the unthinkable on Friday: I bought real live potatoes. I never buy potatoes and you can’t blame my sudden interest on Irene since they aren’t exactly Hurricane staples – it takes prep to make them palatable.
Irene blew through my section of New York City with little fanfare – other than the oohs and aahs of over-tired meteorologists – and because I slept through most of the storm, I awoke on Sunday to an overstocked kitchen and fridge. I’m not sure about you, but somehow my weather-ready stockpile seemed to make me even hungrier….all those Wheat Thins and English Muffins just staring at me from the cupboard.
Anyway, it dawned on me that Monday marks my Secret Recipe Club assignment so I popped on over to Manu’s Menu and started cruising the site, which is replete with authentic Italian dishes from Manuela, who was born in raised in Milan. While I was drooling over the incredible spread, I stopped short at her Potato, Speck and Leek Parcels, a divine-looking side dish or appetizer that happens to combine several of my favorite ingredients. Thanks to my random surplus of taters and a lifelong passion for prosciutto, I realized I had found “the one.”
The results were fantastic. As Manuela mentions, these parcels make an apropos accompaniment to a hearty roast, but they also work well all by their lonesome as a passed hors d’oeuvre or even a fancy Sunday snack. And the best part is, it spared me and my husband from the drudgery of a boring old baked potato.
Potato, Leek and Prosciutto Parcels for Secret Recipe Club
Serves 4 as a side
Adapted from Manu’s Menu
2 Idaho or Russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into square-inch bites (about a pound-worth) – $0.99
1 cup of parmesan, freshly grated – $3.50
10 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips that are about 1-inch thick and 3+ inches long – $4.99
1 leek, washed thoroughly, trimmed of dark green leaves, then slice the light green and white part into thin rounds – $0.99
1 teaspoon dried sage – stock
1 teaspoon white vinegar – stock
Olive oil – stock
Salt and pepper – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $10.47
Cost per serving: $2.61
1. Peel the potatoes and cut into square-inch bites
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
3. Boil a medium saucepan of water and add a teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt to it. Blanch the potato squares for 10 minutes. Drain them in a colander then run cold water over them to halt the cooking process. Set aside
4. In a saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over med-high heat and sprinkle with a dash of salt. Saute the leek for about 10 minutes (stirring frequently) or until the leek becomes tender and slightly golden. Remove from heat.
5. In a small bowl, toss the grated parmesan with the sage and a big pinch of black pepper.
6. Prepare the parcels. Take a strip of prosciutto and put a potato square in the middle of it. Sprinkle with a big pinch of parmesan/sage, top with a pinch of sauteed leeks, and then place another potato square on top. Wrap the prosciutto around it and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat until you use all ingredients.
7. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, or until the prosciutto crisps up. Serve warm.