Don’t be daunted by 2 lbs of thinly sliced Serrano ham. This party pack is truly a wonderful thing to have in the fridge, especially over the summer when casual no-cook meals are the order of the day. Once opened, you may wish to separate it into smaller amounts and store it - vacuum-sealed, or simply stashed in a sealing bag - for future uses. Reach for a few slices of Serrano ham to wrap around cheese or fruit for a quick snack, or incorporate it into your cooking.
1. Salad on a Stick: Caprese Kebabs
In the summer when it’s too hot to cook you’ll be glad you have Serrano in the fridge. Simply pierce Serrano slices with a skewer and alternate with marinated cherry tomatoes, bocconcini ("little bites" in Italian), and basil for easy and refreshing finger food- or try it with melon balls and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic reduction.
2. Serrano with Seafood
Serrano is a wrap star and pairs well with seafood. Any firm, flaky fish will work, like cod, salmon, halibut, arctic char, or sea bass. It also works well with shrimp and scallops – just wrap and sear in a hot pan stovetop or on the grill.
3. Serrano, Meet Grissini
Who needs crackers when you have elegant breadsticks? Wrap Serrano around one end and leave enough to hold at the bottom (like a ham lollipop). This will also work with thinly sliced ficelle or cheese straws.
4. Tartines with Cheese and Greens
A tartine is just a French open-faced sandwich and you can make one with Serrano. Start with crackers, flatbread, or sliced baguette, then layer with a favorite cheese (creamy brie or chevre or firm manchego), a sweet spread (fig jam), and top with peppery greens. For a Spanish version spread garlicky tomato puree on fresh bread, drizzle with olive oil, and add Serrano and a little sea salt.
5. Add Flavor to Potato Salad
Instead of adding bacon to potato salad, use Serrano. Crisp ham in a pan, then crumble and add to mayonnaise-free German and French-style potato salads, which are great to bring on picnics and road trips.
6. Wrap Fruit with Serrano
Try this easy, make-ahead recipe for ham-wrapped pear with arugula and ricotta cheese. In the summer, sub out the pear for seasonal stone fruit, slices of your favorite melon, or fresh figs.
7. Perfect Pizza Topper
Firing up a pizza at home? Tear up several slices of Serrano and arrange them evenly atop the cheese and let the heat melt the ham into the other ingredients.
8. Accent for Vegetables
Roast or grill asparagus spears, then wrap delicate Serrano around them before serving – this preserves the flavor and texture of the ham. Serrano can also add a finishing touch to green beans, broccoli, or peas sauteed with olive oil. Toss some manchego cheese on top for added flavor.
9. Grilled Cheese Hero
A few slices of Serrano tucked between your favorite melty cheese and bread will bring an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich to new heights.
10. Carnivore Crackers
Eating low carb? Try making ham crisps. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, arrange slices of Serrano evenly on the pan, then bake until crispy (watch them carefully!). These crunchy snacks can be stored in a sealed bag, at the ready to top salads, eggs, and crumble over cooked vegetables or fish – there’s no end of tasty uses for these crisps. You could also add them to a charcuterie board or scoop up dips.
What to Drink with Serrano Ham
Uncork a refreshing white Spanish wine like Albariño and Verdejo, or a dry or sparkling rosé on a warm evening to enjoy with your ham. Serrano can also stand up to young, fruity red wines – nothing too heavy or tannic – and is often paired with fortified wines like sherry, Madeira, or manzanilla.