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Owner of La Quercia cured meats.


The first American producers of organic-certified and heirloom-bred prosciutto and the first to use acorn-fed pigs.

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Breakfast: Omelet of La Quercia Ham À La Jacques Pepin

Recipe courtesy of chef Erik Desjarlais

Jacques Pepin is the undisputed Roi de l’Omelette, and I follow his technique because it is perfect. It should remain almost medium rare in the middle.


1 omelet


- 4 farm eggs

- 2 oz butter

- 2 oz La Quercia Rossa, Berkshire, cut in to a thin chiffonade

- 2 tablespoons sliced chives

- Sea salt and white pepper


- Round bottomed, seasoned steel or nonstick 12 inch pan

- Rubber spatula

- Fork (for beating the eggs - a whisk incorporates too much air)


1) Warm your pan over medium heat.

2) Beat the eggs vigorously with the fork until the yolks emulsify into the whites. You certainly don’t want globs of white in this super delicate omelet. Add the chives and mix. Season with a generous pinch of sea salt and a few twists of the white pepper mill.

3) Place the butter in the pan and allow it to melt and bubble. Once the butter begins to froth, pour the egg in to the pan and immediately stir while shaking the pan. You don’t want big curds, but a smooth, homogenous custard.

4) Once the bottom sets (but not brown), sprinkle in the strips of ham.  The eggs exposed should still be runny. Fold a third over the middle, then tip the entire pan over on to a plate, folding it in thirds.


Watch Jacques Pepin make two different omelets here.


Lunch: La Quercia Ham & Cheese Sandwich “Cubain”

Recipe courtesy of chef Erik Desjarlais

This is how I like to eat a sandwich. Inspired by the pressed Cuban sandwiches I enjoyed in Key West.


1 sandwich


- 6 slices La Quercia Organic Green Label

- 3 slices Gruyere

- 2 oz slowly baked pulled pork (you should always have this on hand!)

- 4 minced cornichons

- Mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s. Because it brings out the best.)

- Yellow mustard (I prefer Maine made Raye’s Down East Schooner)

- Shredded lettuce and chopped tomato (optional and seasonal)

- Fresh baguette about 8 inches long and split horizontally (or a light and fluffy Cuban bread if available)

- Butter for pressing


- Sandwich press (Breville makes a great heavy-duty home version)


1) Heat sandwich press to low

2) Spread mustard on one piece of bread, mayonnaise on the other.

3) On one slice of bread, layer La Quercia ham, cheese, cornichon, pulled pork, and lettuce and tomato if using. Be sure not to let anything hang over the edges, or you will have a mess on your sandwich press.

4) Top with the other piece of bread and spread the butter on the outside. Lay it in the press, close the top, and let it grill for 8 to 10 minutes until the outside is crispy and the cheese has melted.


Dinner: Chicken & La Quercia

Recipe courtesy of chef Erik Desjarlais


2 servings


- 1 whole farm skinned, boneless chicken breast (intact with both sides)

- 10 to 12 thin slices La Quercia Tamworth (available in 2011)

- Canola oil

- Accoutrements may vary based on taste and seasonality, and most will stand up (e.g. pommes puree, foraged mushrooms, braised collard greens, or whatever is in season).


1) Cut off tips of chicken breasts to make rough rectangles. Lay out a square foot of plastic wrap, place chicken smooth side down and roll the breast in to a compact cylinder, twisting the ends of the wrap to seal. Repeat with other breast and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight to set up.

2) Lay out 5 slices of La Quercia ham almost on top of each other, overlapping so it looks like a package of pre-sliced bacon. Unwrap a breast and roll it in the ham so it wraps completely around the cylinder. Rewrap in plastic as before and chill until ready to cook, at least 2 hours.

3) To finish, preheat oven to 400 degrees and heat a mid sized pan over medium heat. Pour a small film of canola oil in the pan, then lay the Quercia wrapped chicken seam side down, and roll in the pan until it browns all over. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

4) After 15 minutes, pull the chicken from the oven, and let it rest on paper towels for a minute or two.

Serving Suggestions

Serve immediately with pommes puree, foraged mushrooms, braised collard greens, or whatever is in season. The flavor profile of this dish will stand up to most accoutrements


Snack: Afternoon or Late Night

For a snack, anything is possible.

- Herb Eckhouse likes his with fresh figs.

- I like mine with pickled vegetables and butter (yes, butter).

- My wife, Krista Desjarlais, the chef of Bresca, adorns hers with Sweet Sumac poached grapes, which is absolutely amazing.

The important thing here is to keep it simple. La Quercia Acorn Edition, thinly sliced, and kept intact would be the best for these delicious pairings.


Photo Courtesy of La Quercia

Cured Meats

400 Hakes Drive

Norwalk, IA 50211

T: 515.981.1625


At the following distributors.




Recommended By

- Chef Jose Garces (Garces Restaurant Group, Philadelphia & Chicago)


Herb Eckhouse’s recommendations for prosciutto producers in Italy.

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