My refrigerator stopped working last night. I put my newly acquired milk on the porch and threw everything else out because I suspected the fridge had died sometime during the day, and I just noticed it at dinnertime. Re-reading all my old links regarding salmonella online didn't help much, mentally.
So, off to the store on a quick run, and I returned home with boneless chicken breasts. I was intrigued by the ease of the recipe in the video above because just recently I bought a whole Jamon Serrano. That's right, a WHOLE ham. It was an incredible deal, at the low, low, ultra-low price of $150.00. That's not a price you're going to see for a long time, my little piglets, no way, no how. I'm sorry you missed it. I'll try to be a better blogger friend next time.
I had to clean out a cupboard to keep it in (you don't need to refrigerate the bone-in hams), and although the instructions say to eat it the jamon in 6-7 weeks, I know for a fact that these things last a lot, lot longer than that. Chris's great-aunt in Spain whipped out one from her cupboard for us (hand-cured by her from a pig that used to live under her house--probably hand-slaughtered by her too, but I didn't ask) and she shrugged her shoulders when I asked about how long she usually keeps it. That generally means indefinitely in Spain. You just scrape off the mold and slice away.
I once wrote an essay for Belle about it, but since none of the Belle stuff is online, there's no way for anyone to read it. I'm not bitter; I just don't know how to link to a PDF. But I digress . . .
This recipe is insanely easy and my only substitution was the type of ham--but the two really are interchangeable, and I would argue jamon is far, far superior. I'd also recommend brining the breasts if you have time. It makes a big difference with a type of meat like this that can be so dry and tasteless if you leave it in the pan even a minute or so too long. Just throw them in a plastic bag with a quart of water, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, and take them out in about 30 minutes. Dry well, extremely well, and then make the recipe just like sweet Jamie does.
The result is a flavor-packed burst of smokiness from the ham, lemony bright herbal notes, and a deep background of earthy Parmesan. It took all of fifteen minutes and the bashing was the very best part for someone so enraged at an appliance. A little couscous and garlicky zucchini rounded out the meal, and suddenly I was in a place where I could actually gaze at the two-and-a-half year old fridge without feeling compelled to rent my garments and give it a good, swift kick in the freezer.
And that, my friends, is really saying something.