Embark on a Spanish Culinary Adventure: Cured Chorizo and Serrano Ham Unveiled
When it comes to Spanish cuisine, there are two ingredients that effortlessly steal the spotlight with their bold flavours and rich history: cured chorizo and Serrano ham. These iconic staples, masterfully celebrated by the culinary prowess of Spanish celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy, are not just ingredients; they’re an experience that transports your taste buds to the heart of Spain.
Cured Chorizo: A Slice of Spanish Tradition
Cured chorizo is a tantalising creation that embodies the soul of Spanish culinary heritage. Crafted from coarsely chopped pork meat and infused with smoky paprika and a medley of spices, cured chorizo showcases a vibrant red hue and a robust flavour profile. The secret behind its allure lies in the curing process – a delicate dance of drying and ageing that enhances both taste and shelf life.
Ready to Savour: Cured Chorizo Unveiled
The beauty of cured chorizo lies in its ready-to-eat nature. Unlike its raw counterparts, this culinary gem is fully prepared for your indulgence, straight out of the package. Picture yourself slicing it into thin rounds, the knife gliding through its firm texture, releasing its intense aromas. A charcuterie board adorned with cured chorizo, crusty bread, artisanal cheese, and olives sets the stage for a sensory journey through the streets of Spain.
Exploring the Difference: Cured vs. Uncured Chorizo
In the world of chorizo, the distinction between cured and uncured is paramount. Cured chorizo boasts the transformative effects of ageing, infusing it with deep, concentrated flavours and a unique texture. On the other hand, uncured chorizo requires cooking to unlock its potential, offering a different experience altogether.
Serrano Ham: A Timeless Culinary Elegance
Enter Serrano ham, an emblem of sophistication that hails from the Spanish culinary realm. Crafted from the finest Spanish white pig, this dry-cured ham undergoes a meticulous selection and ageing process, resulting in a symphony of flavours – from sweet and nutty to complex and savoury.
The Raw Elegance of Serrano Ham
Raw, unadulterated, and utterly exquisite – that’s how Serrano ham graces your palate. Sliced paper-thin, its tender texture and nuanced flavours are a testament to its craftsmanship. Whether draped over crusty bread, paired with a glass of Spanish wine, or simply enjoyed on its own, Serrano ham offers an unrivalled sensorial experience.
Serrano Ham vs. Parma Ham: A Taste of Terroir
Serrano ham and Parma ham (Prosciutto di Parma) may share the stage as premium dry-cured hams, but their origins set them apart. Serrano ham hails from Spain, while Parma ham is an Italian delicacy. Each ham carries its unique terroir, resulting in variations in taste, texture, and production methods that pay homage to its distinctive roots.
Omar Allibhoy’s Spanish Creations: A Feast for the Senses
Spanish celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy celebrates these culinary treasures through two remarkable recipes that beckon you to embark on your own Spanish culinary adventure.
Chorizo Open Omelette with Prawns and Spring Onion
Ingredients – 2 servings
- 100g Consorcio del Chorizo Español chorizo, cut into 0.5cm slices
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 2 egg yolks
- 100g prawns, head on, shell off, tail on
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, tops reserved
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, Consorcio del Chorizo Español chorizo, and the white part of the spring onions. Sauté for about 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Cook the prawns in the chorizo-infused oil on both sides for about a minute. Season with salt and pepper, then remove and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the cooked chorizo, spring onions, and oil with the whisked eggs and egg yolks.
- Return the frying pan to the heat and add the remaining olive oil. Once the oil is almost smoking, pour in the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the mixture to create layers while tilting the pan to let the egg spread evenly. Continue folding until the omelette is nearly cooked on the bottom, then remove from heat.
- Place the cooked prawns over the omelette and garnish with the green tops of the spring onion.
Jamón Consorcio Serrano, Green Bean, and Lentil Salad
Ingredients: 2 servings
- 100g Jamón ConsorcioSerrano
- 200g baby spinach, washed
- 250g green beans, tops removed
- 50g black olives
- 2 oranges, segmented
- 500g cooked Pardina lentils, rinsed
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
- 4 tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 garlic clove
- Prepare the dressing by grating the garlic clove into a bowl. Mix with Dijon mustard, salt, and Sherry vinegar. While whisking vigorously, slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream to emulsify the dressing.
- Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes, then immediately transfer them to ice-cold water. Drain the beans and combine them with baby spinach, black olives, orange segments, cooked lentils, chopped parsley, and mint leaves.
- Toss the salad with the prepared sherry dressing, ensuring everything is well coated.
- Divide the salad into serving plates and top with slices of Jamón Consorcio Serrano for an exquisite flavour burst.
Your Culinary Journey Awaits
With cured chorizo and Serrano ham as your guides, your culinary journey through Spain’s flavours is just a slice away. From the vibrant streets of Spain to your very own kitchen, allow the artistry of preservation and the expertise of Chef Omar Allibhoy to tantalize your senses and transport you to a world of rich flavours and culinary elegance. So gather your ingredients, embrace the essence of Spain, and indulge in a feast that celebrates the magic of cured chorizo and the timeless allure of Serrano ham.