This post is Not Safe For Vegetarians.
I had a delicious dinner last night. “But, Lauren!” you say, “You have a delicious dinner most nights.” And you’re right, you crazy kid, you. But last night was especially delicious. I dunno, maybe it was the Lauren-friendly sunny, hot weather. Maybe it was the light, fresh romaine salad straight from my Needle Lane farm share box. Maybe it was the company of my husband and the relaxed atmosphere of our very old house.
Or maybe it was the pork wrapped pork with the side of pork-filled cornbread.
Oh yeah. You read that right. Pork wrapped pork. Pork filled cornbread.
This whole thing got started because a) Josh’s department was having a picnic-themed potluck and b) I found a recipe for Savory Prosciutto Muffins on EatingWell. I thought, hmmm, what kind of picnicky item can I make for Josh? Muffins. Muffins can be picnicky. Muffins are an anytime food. And these proscuitto muffins sound great. But you know what’s better than regular muffins? Cornbread muffins.
Cornbread. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
And thus an idea was born. Nay, not an idea. A stroke of genius.
I made up my usual, delicious batch of cornbread batter but then, taking inspiration from EatingWell, added chopped up bits of prosciutto that I crisped up in a bit of butter (what? I had to melt butter for the batter anyway and since there was residual butter in the pan after that I might as well fry the prosciutto in it, right?) and instead of the onions they used, I used diced chives from my farm share, which gave the muffins a delightful oniony flavor, as well as hearty doses of dried thyme and oregano. I actually made two batches of muffins–some vegetarian, with just the chives and no prosciutto, and some carnivore-friendly. Both are good. But only one has pork in it.
Anyway, since I had leftover prosciutto and I was going to pan-fry/oven roast pork chops, I figured…might as well wrap the prosciutto around the pork. I mean, that’s the logical conclusion here. It’s not unusual to do this and you know why? It’s logical.
Step 1: Have pork.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit
You know what Step 2 is? It’s “Wrap pork in pork.”
Anyway, so first I got out my two boneless pork chops, nice meaty thick ones. Then I rolled them in a mixture of grated Romano cheese, dried thyme and black pepper. No salt, because the proscuitto is salty enough. Then I wrapped each pork chop in two overlapping pieces of prosciutto. Those went into my beautiful cast iron grill, which was lightly coated in olive oil, over medium high heat until the proscuitto was crispy and browned, then flipped and then put into a 350 oven along with the cornbread. Twenty minutes. That’s it. To go with that, though, I made just a very simple balsamic vinaigrette to go over a basic green salad of Romaine and boom. Done. Delish. Tasty, quick and full of pork. That is the American way.
Sadly, the battery on my Nikon was dead–I forgot to charge it after we got back from Alaska–so I had to use my cell phone to take less-than-optimal-but-still-tasty pics. But you should make it yourself so you can see it in 3D HD! Remarkable how technology works these days…
Prosciutto and Chive Cornbread Muffins
Makes about 12 muffins
1 1/3 c. coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c. buttermilk
9 tbsps melted butter
1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, beaten
2 oz prosciutto, chopped and fried til crispy
2 heaping tbsps chopped chives
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Temper the eggs by adding a little bit of melted butter at a time to bring them up to temperature, then add both eggs and butter to the cornmeal mixture. Add in buttermilk and green onions. Slowly stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for about 25 minutes or until stiffened. Stir in prosciutto.
Heat oven to 375F. Prep a 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray. Using an ice-cream scoop, dish out an equal amount of batter into each muffin cup. Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes, give or take a few, or until just finished. Serve with butter. Yum.