An Alternative Holiday Side

 Photograph by David Prince

It’s the holiday season, which means you’re likely to have many a pot-luck dinner and party on your upcoming social calendar. Yes, you could bring your foolproof green bean casserole, but why not blow your host away with an updated version of a traditional side? This pork-encircled mashed-potato roll, courtesy of Nick Mamalis, head chef at Richmond, Ontario’s Royals Restaurant, just outside Ottawa, is deliciously different – without scaring traditionalists. “I would never have associated it with [the holidays],” Mamalis admits, “but it’s a big hit. We trot out the same stuff year after year; it’s nice to change things up.”

Prosciutto-Wrapped Roasted Garlic Potato Medallions
(Serves 6-8)

• 1 head garlic
• 1 lb potatoes
• 7 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 egg yolk, beaten
• 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
• salt and pepper
• 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 pound prosciutto cotto, sliced
• 1/4 cup flour
• basil-infused olive oil
• balsamic vinegar

Cut the tops off 6 cloves of garlic and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in an aluminum foil pouch at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, then drain, peel, and mash them in a bowl. Remove garlic from oven; peel and mash it as well. To potatoes, add garlic, 2 tbsp butter, beaten egg yolk, grated cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Arrange slices of prosciutto side by side on top of parchment or waxed paper, and cover the prosciutto with a half-inch layer of potato mix. Roll layers into a jelly roll, making sure the potato is fully wrapped in prosciutto. Refrigerate the roll to harden (1 hour), then remove parchment and slice it into 18 medallions. Sprinkle flour on both sides. In batches, fry medallions in a pan with butter and a splash of olive oil. Remove when both sides are golden brown. Drizzle with infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar.