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Danielle Marullo

Danielle Marullo is the Chef and Food Blogger behind “Got Room For More” (gotroomformore.com) a website that consists of her original recipes and instructional cooking videos. By day, Danielle is the General Manager of the Clement Restaurant at the five star Peninsula Hotel in NYC. Danielle has made appearances on different food related television programs, and even won a special Food Network sponsored “Chopped Challenge” on the Anderson Cooper Live talk show. She aspires to one day host her own cooking program on television so she can share her love of food and the culinary arts with the world.

Have you ever used Speck Alto Adige before?
Absolutely! Growing up in an Italian household we always had prosciutto on Sundays with our Antipasto spread, but when studying abroad in Italy in 2010 I discovered Speck Alto Adige. I love Speck Alto Adige because it has all the wonderful qualities of traditional prosciutto, in that it is both meaty and delicate. Just like prosciutto it has such a wonderful salty bite to it, but the Speck brings a smoky punch to the flavor profile that I just can’t get enough of! I love the way Speck’s salty and smoky flavors compliment sweet, juicy fruits or even mild, creamy mozzarella. It is the perfect addition to many savory and sweet ingredients.

Would you recommend Speck to a friend?
Of course! In fact, I picked some up for my boyfriend and I to enjoy with some delicious cheeses, breads and wine, and ever since that day, my boyfriend consistently reaches for the Speck instead of the pepperoni or regular prosciutto. I guess he liked my recommendation!

What dish did you make using Speck and how did you come up with the idea?
I made a simple but flavorful Speck and Fig Crostini that consists of perfectly toasted baguette slices topped with smoky Speck Alto Adige, creamy Havarti cheese, sweet balsamic soaked figs and finally very aromatic, fresh Basil. Many of my family members had fig trees in their backyard while I was growing up, so I have so many fond memories of me reaching up to the green branches and picking fresh, juicy figs right off the vine. My family uses figs in many of our most cherished recipes, so they have a very special place in my heart. I soak the figs in good quality Balsamic vinegar because the rich flavors of the balsamic really compliment the flavors of the fresh figs. The vinegar also brings some acidity to the dish which cuts throughout the richness of the cheese and meat perfectly.

Is Speck something you would use in other dishes? Do you think it's a versatile ingredient, if so, why?
Absolutely, and I do! You can chop it up into small pieces and add it to pasta dishes, wrap it around fresh melons for a quick snack or even use it instead of bacon in your favorite breakfast dishes like frittatas, eggs Benedict or quiche.

What is your favorite thing about using Speck in your recipes? Does it have specific qualities that you enjoy?
The salty, smoky bite of the Speck will amplify the flavors of even the simplest dishes. Speck has the perfect ratio of fat and meat. When sliced paper thin, it just feels as if it melts on the tongue leaving the most pleasant salty, smoky, rich flavor behind.

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