Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese Roulade
An egg roulade is sort of like an enormous spongy omelet. It's a big rolled-up container for just about any tasty ingredients. From an entertaining[ point of view, the beauty of an egg roulade is that you can make it a day ahead, chill it overnight, and then fill it up just before your guests arrive. Fifteen minutes before you want to eat, pop it in the oven. Great for brunch, egg roulade, stuffed with your savory leftover, also makes a great weeknight dinner. I fell in love with Spain and Spanish ingredients years ago when I joined a press junket to Spain to learn about the country's olive oil. At the time serrano ham, a delicious aged ham similar to the Italian prosciutto was not allowed in America. Today it is available here, as are many of the wonderful Spanish cheeses that used to be kept out. If you can find them, you will fall in love with them, too. If you can't, by all means substitute other good ingredients. Use prosciutto or thinly sliced ham and the sharp tasted cheese of your choice.]
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk, heated
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups coarsely grated Manchego or Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3 ounces thinly sliced serrano ham or prosciutto
- 1 large roasted red bell pepper, seeded, peeled and cut into thin strips, optional
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a buttered 15 by 10 (1-inch) jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper, dust with flour, and tap out the excess.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, whisk in the milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in the egg yolks 1 at a time. Season with the salt and pepper. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture and fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan and smooth gently with a metal spatula. Transfer to the oven and cook until golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.
Increase the oven heat to 375 degrees F. Cover the egg sponge with a buttered piece of parchment paper, buttered side down. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and invert onto a work surface. Peel off the paper from the top.
Sprinkle the cheese over the sponge, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Arrange the ham and pepper strips on top and sprinkle on the parsley. Place a flat baking sheet next to the sponge. Starting with 1 of the longer sides, use the towel to help roll the sponge up jelly roll fashion. Carefully roll onto the baking sheet pan. Return the roulade to the upper third of the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a serrated knife to cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
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