Velvet Corn Soup; Country v City Ham; Weekly Menu

I often call for Prosciutto in my recipes; not a lot, just a bit to add flavor.  It's the case of a little going a long way.

But, I never, or rarely, use actual Prosciutto. 

I use Bayonne or Vendéen or Serrano, or any number of other dry-cured hams that are available here.

In my mind it denotes the type of ham and it's up to the cook to decide which they prefer or what's available in their market.

As I was standing at the meat counter yesterday, buying my Bayonne ham for this dish (and others during the week), I counted the hams.

There were over 35 different dry-cured hams ranging in price from 12 euros to over 50 euros per kilo or
roughly 9 dollars to over 38 dollars per pound.  My little supermarket only carries the really expensive stuff, like Jamón Jubago de Ibérico, at Christmas.

There were also 15 different wet-cured hams, the kind most Americans think of when one says 'ham'.

FYI: dry-cured ham is also known as country ham, both in the US and here; wet-cured ham is known as city ham in the US and 'Paris' ham here in France (jambon de Paris).  I don't recall seeing the equivalent in Spain…..

Happy Year of the Tiger!

Soups are usually included with a Chinese meal, though not as a first
course. Traditional meals do not have courses unless they are
banquets. We modify it to suit our own customs

This is based on a recipe from '1000 Chinese Recipes'.

Velvet Corn Soup

Velvet Corn Soup

1 cup (8oz, 240gr) corn
2 egg whites
4 tbs milk
2 1/2 cups (20oz, 625gr) chicken stock
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
1 slice Prosciutto, sautéed
1 tsp olive oil

Drain corn and rinse lightly. Heat chicken stock, 2 tbs milk and corn. Roughly chop the Prosciutto. Heat oil in skillet, add Prosciutto and sauté until crisp. Remove and set aside.
Separate eggs, discarding the yolk. With a whisk beat the egg whites until very frothy. Then beat in the 2 tbs of milk, set aside. Dissolve the cornstarch in the chicken stock.
To finish: When the stock/corn is boiling stir in the cornstarch mixture and stir until the soup has thickened and cleared. Remove from heat. Pour in the egg whites and stir gently a few times. Ladle into bowls, divide the Prosciutto and sprinkle on each serving. Serve immediately.

Note: The easiest way to separate eggs is to crack it and dump it in your clean hand. Let the white run through your fingers into the bowl and discard the yolk. Or you can, carefully, transfer the yolk from eggshell half to eggshell half – this keeps your fingers clean. I don't do this because our eggshells have not been washed like they (usually) are in the U.S. I know my fingers are clean. I have no use planned for the egg yolks. You can refrigerate them and use them in omelets, freeze them and save them for baking, (see techniques) or discard them.

the weekly menu for February 12 we have Sweet and Sour Pork, Stir-Fried Shrimp, Chicken with Mascarpone and Shallots, Apple Tarts, Ham, Broccoli and Potato Gratin…

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5 thoughts on “Velvet Corn Soup; Country v City Ham; Weekly Menu”

  1. It’s 2ºC here and this looks good for breakfast. With more ham and an egg on top? Melted cheese inside? Now that’s getting close to grits.
    When I was a kid in Bayern, the locals laughed at eating corn. “That’s cow food.” But later I saw corn on pizza in Germany. Yuk.

  2. I use that same method for separating eggs – if I try to do the shell method (which gets your fingers eggy anyway), I always slip and cut the yolk.
    When I lived in France at age 16, I introduced the headmistress to popcorn, something she had never seen before. She was quickly addicted and would invite us to watch her (the only one in the school) TV in the evening, sending us up to bed as soon as the popcorn was gone. 😀

  3. Hey Katie,
    I’m a big fan of soups, and sweetcorn is a staple in my freezer – though I’ve got a few (mostly made-up!) recipes for sweetcorn soup, this one is already scrawled into my recipe collection. It was the ‘velvet’ that did it!
    Rosie of BooksAndBakes

  4. Year on the Grill – I always knew what country ham was, but had a time finding the name for the ‘other’.
    BorderPundit – here in France it’s pig food – along with pumpkin and winter squashes. Same in Spain. But they eat on pizza here, too…. Not for me.
    Hi Rosie, do you grow your own sweet corn? I usually do but the rabbits got to it last year…. It’s a great name, isn’t it (not mine)

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