Salmon Fillets wrapped in Serrano Ham Recipe

Salmon Fillets wrapped in Serrano Ham

There are many versions of this traditional recipe which hails from the Spanish region of Navarra. My version of Trucha a la Navarra uses salmon fillets, but cod or monkfish is equally good. The distinct nutty flavor of the Serrano ham and the slightly sweet taste of the sherry vinegar make this dish pop with flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

US MeasuresMetricICYMI
  • 4 salmon fillets of 8 oz each, cut from the centerpiece and of equal size
  • 4 slices of Spanish Serrano ham
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chile, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 3 Tbsp flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 salmon fillets of 225 g each, cut from the centerpiece and of equal size
  • 4 slices of Spanish Serrano ham
  • 60 ml + 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chile, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 3 Tbsp flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chile, chili or chilli?

Chile with an “e” at the end is the correct spelling of the spicy red or green pepper in Spanish speaking countries and parts of the US. The plural is “chiles”. However in most parts of the US the term “chili” like in “Chili con Carne” is used for the peppers and the pepper powder. That’s confusing!

“Chile Powder” is the condiment containing only chiles, whereas “Chili Powder” is a spice mix. McCormick’s chili powder contains “chili peppers (the incorrect spelling), spices (no further details), salt, and silicon dioxide”. What I normally use are fresh or dried chiles, they give the best aroma. I might use chile powder once in a while, like the “Ancho Chile Pepper” powder from McCormick for Mexican or Tex-Mex seasonings. The ancho chile powder contains only dried ancho chile peppers and, like most condiment powders, silicon dioxide. This is an anticaking agent deemed harmless by the FDA, albeit the EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) recently raised concerns due to the use of nanoparticles.

The third version, “chilli,” is the spelling used in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries”.

In many countries the term “Red Pepper Flakes” is used for dried, crushed chile.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F /175°C.

Season fillets with salt and pepper. Wrap 1 slice of ham tightly around each fillet. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet large enough to accommodate 4 fillets. Place wrapped fillets seam side up first in the skillet. Cook for about 7-8 minutes turning once. Set aside.

Transfer wrapped fillets seam side down on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Place in oven to keep it warm while preparing the sherry dressing.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook it for 2 minutes. Add the red chile slices and cook for 1 minute longer. Add vinegar, parsley, and salt if necessary. Give the skillet a good swirl to mingle the flavors.

Serve salmon fillets on warmed plates and spoon over the garlic-chile dressing.

A salad with simple greens and a crusty bread to mop up the juices is all you need.

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