Apples, apples and more apples. I think we already talked previously about how diverse apples can be from desserts, to snacks and even savory dishes. Yes, they can be an amazing addition to any non-dessert dish. This recipe is just one way apples can add a little spunk to your favorite foods. Paired with caramelized onions and prosciutto and equals the perfectly sweet and salty combination.
I thought it would be fun to start educating you about different, maybe slightly unfamiliar, yet tasty foods that can expand your cooking experience. Lets call it food intelligence shall we? To start this, I thought it would be nice to break down the difference between bacon, panchetta and prosciutto. Similar in the fact that they all come from a pig yet different in the flavors they produce, how they are cured and the best ways to prepare them. Lets start with prosciutto.
What is Prosciutto?
Proscuitto is cured ham. The difference between ham and prosciutto lies entirely in how it’s cured. The outside of the ham is rubbed with salt and other spices which draw out the moisture, concentrating the flavor. It undergoes an aging process to essentially dry out the ham taking anywhere from a few months to several years based on the desired result. Either way proscuitto is much more flavorful, salty and drier than a normal slice of ham.
Once aged and cured proscuitto is usually thinly sliced and eaten raw. Don’t worry, the curing process takes care of the “cooking.” However, it can be “crisped” in a pan for a quick topping to soups or salads or slightly baked such as on this flatbread. Remember that it has been aged and dried for a long period of time so don’t over cook it.
What is Panchetta?
Panchetta is similar to bacon as it comes from the pork belly. It is also cured for a length of time just as bacon is. The difference is how it is cured. Spices and other aromatics are usually added to the pork belly before curing to give panchetta a distinct flavor from bacon, which is cured with salt.
Panchetta can be found very thinly sliced or cubed. It is considered raw and therefore should always be cooked. Thinly sliced panchetta can be used wrapped around foods and then cooked and the cubes can be cooked as you would bacon to add great flavor to a combination of different foods.
What is Bacon?
We all know what bacon is and the desired flavor it contains. Although not quite as “fancy” as panchetta it still holds its own. Bacon, just like panchetta is cured pork belly that is taken one step further. It is cured and then smoked to give it the distinct flavors such as hickory, apple, maple and a host of others. Now this isn’t your typical smoked meat. Bacon undergoes a cold-smoke which means it is not heated in the process. This leaves you with a flavorful, yet raw piece of meat. This is important to note as bacon must be cooked before serving.
Bacon is usually found sliced, thinly or thick. I prefer the thick-cut-bacon. Again, it is considered raw and therefore should always be cooked before use.
Are they interchangable?
Some would say yes, others a direct no. Each contains a unique set of flavors and has preferred cooking method so depending on what you are trying to cook, use these tips to figure out which one will work best with your meal.
As for this deliciously salty, yet sweet creation, prosciutto was the perfect combination as it is so thinly sliced that it created nice ribbons on top of the flat bread and added the saltiness that brings out all of the delicious flavors of the caramelized onions and sauteed apples. Pretty much amazing and seriously if this doesn’t scream fall I don’t know what does. Okay other than pumpkin, apple pie, squash, well I guess there is quite a few other things. But seasonal none the less.
I think I could eat this for any meal or all of them. The flavors just hit all the right cords. Plus it is so incredibly easy I just can’t contain it. Well I hope you enjoyed your first ingredient intelligence lesson. If you’d like to know more let me know your questions and I can help answer them. It’s always nice to know how your food is made, prepared and most importantly where it is grown. Remember QUALITY matters!
- 1 Grain Free Flatbread - Find Recipe Here
- 1 medium Sweet onion
- 2 Apples
- 8-10 slices Prosciutto
- 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil
- ⅓ Cup farmers cheese, shredded (optional)
- DAIRY FREE OPTION
- ⅓ Cup pizza sauce
- Make flatbread according to recipe.
- Thinly slice onion.
- Peel, core and thinly slice apples.
- Heat a pan over low-medium heat and add butter or oil.
- Once hot, add onions and apples.
- Saute until caramelized and tender.
- Once flatbread is cooked, top with pizza sauce or cheese, add caramelized onions, apples and proscuitto.
- Place back in oven for 5-7 minutes, remove and serve.