Going through the wide range of hams in the salumeria (delicatessen), I was not thrilled to choose turkey ham. It's the most nondescript of all but it probably has the lowest cholesterol level among all the hams beckoning to me. I'm giving this insipid ham a chance to inspire me to create something.
Continuing on with my fruit cooking frenzy, I thought of cranberries being an emblematic partner to turkey in American Thanksgiving dinners. But then I didn't have any. I had some apples and I gave it the green light seeing that it's a probable candidate to combine with turkey as evidenced by the myriad recipes present at the internet.
I'm used to cooking apples for dessert, not as a complement to meat. It was exacting to make it blend with the turkey because as I cooked on, the apples seemed to have turned sour. I ameliorated that by adding a teaspoon of honey. Thyme & rosemary made it very fragrant. As an afterthought, I toasted some canned corn kernels mixed with thyme. The combination came out well. I prepared the rolls with salad. I drizzled some mosto cotto, a thick brown liquid that is produced by pressing mature grapes that have more sugar content, then cooked in cauldrons for several hours until the volume is reduced to a fourth of its original quantity. They are then bottled and can be aged until 2 years. If I am not mistaken, it is actually the liquid prior to being barrelled to age the balsamic vinegar. It has a thick viscosity and a sweet taste, quite reminiscent of the 12-year old balsamic vinegar but with the absence of the woodsy taste.
Here are what my resident food critics say about the mosto cotto dressing: My husband says the rolls could go without it. My 1-year old gesticulates by drilling her finger to her cheek translated as delicious with or without while my finicky eater 5-year old evaded it.
Turkey Ham Rolls Stuffed With Apples & Corn
- 6 slices of turkey ham
- 1 tablespoon pancetta affumicata (smoked pancetta)
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 apple, diced (Any kind will do. I used Golden.)
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 100 g. corn kernels
- 1/8 onion or about 2 tablespoons, minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- mosto cotto
Oil skillet with the extra virgin olive oil. Saute' onions & pancetta in the skillet. When pancetta gets toasted, add the apples, 1 teaspoon thyme & rosemary. Cook for about 15 minutes, tossing or stirring once in a while on medium fire. Add the brandy and put up fire until the alcohol evaporates. Season with salt & pepper.
Preparing the corn kernels:
In another skillet, toast corn kernels with the remaining thyme without any oil.
Preparing the turkey rolls:
Lay one slice of turkey ham on a plate. You can slice this in the middle to make two rolls if you think it is too big. I did with mine. Put about a tablespoon each of the toasted corn & the apples. Adjust with the size of the roll that you would like to do. Roll the ham to close. Serve with or without mosto cotto drizzled on top. As an alternative, you can also drizzle it with balsamic vinegar.