On a recent Sunday, we had a lazy afternoon and evening that was composed of cooking and watching episodes from the first season of The West Wing. Although it was pretty indulgent to spend many hours this way, I felt it was earned, as we had spent all of Saturday morning and part of the afternoon completing a work project. Plus, we spent a couple hours Sunday morning working on yard projects. I guess I don’t to justify a lazy afternoon, but there’s something in my work ethic/time allocation mindset that makes me think I do.
Anyway, guilty conscience put to rest, we decided to make five small courses to enjoy together. I opted for the first, third, and fifth, so that I would get to make dessert. With four courses to follow the first, I wanted to start with something light. A cheese course is something we both appreciate, but I didn’t want to start with crackers or a large quantity of cheese.
What I decided to do was transform a meat from a part of a charcuterie plate to the base upon which the cheese would be served. The capocolla added a nice amount of flavor and salt to the appetizer. However, it also made a greasy base for the snack, so having a handful of napkins nearby is essential.
If you don’t like cappocolla, other meats could be used, such as proscuitto or serrano ham. Just be sure that you choose a meat that is thinly cut and will crisp nicely with a little heat.
Capocolla Crisps with Manchego
12 slices capocolla
12 slices manchego
3 tsp. fig jam
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place 4 slices of capocolla in pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until edges begin curling. Flip and cook second side until each slice is crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Blot both sides to remove excess grease. Repeat until all capocolla is cooked.
Transfer capocolla to a small baking sheet. Top each piece of capocolla with a slice of manchego. Move baking tray to oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top each appetizer with a 1/4 teaspoon of fig jam.