Champiñones con jamón or mushrooms with cured ham is just a combination of both mushrooms and ham. The secret lies in giving them a special touch at cooking by seasoning them perfectly to enhance their flavors while maintaining their essence.
The simplicity of this recipe might make it unattractive at first. But if you know how to prepare it in the proper way, it’s without a doubt a tapa to fancy enjoying along a good chilled beer.
In Alcalá de Henares there is a restaurant specializing in grilled mushrooms which are the best I have tasted in my life. Nino Restaurant has a history of over 60 years watching the Alcalaínos from the Calle Mayor. Its fame is well-deserved so do not miss the opportunity to try their mushrooms if you visit Alcalá.
- 500 g (1 pound) mushrooms
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 y ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
- Cured ham
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Clean the mushrooms, remove stems and wash them in plenty of cold water. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat a large iron skillet with ½ tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add chopped garlic and sauté until it gets a light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In the same skillet pour 2 tbsp of olive oil and heat it to medium.
- Incorporate the mushrooms and sauté until some of their liquid is evaporated and they acquire a more tender texture, about 10 minutes. Do not overcook them or they will end up with an overly soft texture.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, pour the white wine vinegar and cook until it evaporates completely, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving platter.
- Garnish with sautéed garlic, sliced ham and chopped fresh parsley.
Tips on mushrooms with cured ham, champiñones con jamón
- A great variety of mushrooms can be found in markets, but for this recipe we recommend to use the common mushroom or Paris mushroom, not Portobellos with the darker outside.
- It’s important to use very fresh white mushrooms with firm flesh. They can be cooked both sliced or whole; if the mushrooms are smallish they can be left whole to preserve their texture and juiciness. If they are very large, you might prefer to slice them before sauteing.
- Take into account that the initial volume of the mushrooms is reduced even to a half while cooking, don’t be mistaken.
- If you choose to slice the mushrooms the cooking time will be shorter than the one shown in the recipe instructions. Keep in mind not to overcook them for not to lose their crunchiness.
- To sauté the mushrooms always use a good olive oil that adds to the aroma of the dish.
- In many recipes you will find that white wine is used instead of white wine vinegar. Personally we think the taste is much more interesting with the latter, in fact this taste reminds a lot of the above mentioned Nino’s mushrooms.
- You can sauté the chopped garlic at the same time as the mushrooms, but they will lose their crunchy texture.
- Use a good cured ham.
- It is important to serve the mushrooms freshly made, because both taste and texture are at their best.
Preparing an enjoyable tapa is not complicated. Quality ingredients and a skillful hand are all you need to combine them and make you want to devour the dish and soak its juices down to the last crumb. Do not forget to accompany these champiñones con jamón or mushrooms with cured ham with some chunks of good bread and a chilled beer.