La Quercia is a producer of delicious pork products from proscuitto to lardo to coppa. I’ve been sampling and cooking with their products for quite awhile now, and if you haven’t heard of them (they’ve been featured by Food and Wine, Bittman for the New York Times, etc.), you should really check them out. Their products are available on their website (see my links) and fine restaurants around the country, but if you live in the Des Moines area you can also get many of their products at Gateway Market (both whole slabs and freshly sliced).
People that know me well are aware that I am not much of a morning person and that extends to food. I love a good crisp on the outside, doughy on the inside waffle, or a well made omellete, but in general I’m not in the mood to cook anything myself. There are exceptions and the remnants of a loaf of ciabatta and a few leftover pieces of coppa convinced me to whip up a tasty treat for myself the other day. A fried egg rounded out my other ingredients and the whole mess went really well with a cup of coffee.
For those of you who don’t know what coppa (also called capicola) is, we have Wikipedia to thank for the following definition.
… a traditional Neapolitan Italian cold cut (salume) made from pork shoulder or neck and dry-cured whole… It is similar to the more widely known cured ham, Prosciutto, though the two are quite distinct… In its production, Capicola is first lightly seasoned, often with red and sometimes white wine, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices which differ depending on region. The meat is then salted (and was traditionally massaged) and stuffed into a natural casing and hung for up to six months to cure. Differences in flavor can also depend on what type of wood is used for smoking as well as what breed of pig is selected. It is essentially the pork counterpart of the air dried, cured beef bresaola.
Coppa and Egg Sandwich
1 large egg
3-4 slices coppa
3 inch thick slice of ciabbata or other crusty bread cut in half
Salt and pepper
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and turn your broiler to high. Brush the skillet with your preferred cooking fat (I like either homemade lard or butter best with eggs) and break your egg into the skillet. I like my whites set and my yolk hot, but runny. I cook my eggs for about 2 minutes uncovered and then I turn off the heat, move the skillet, and cover it. Salt and pepper your eggs as desired. Lay the slices of coppa on the bread and place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes or until the edges of the coppa start to crisp up and maybe some light brown shows up on the bread.
Remove the bread and coppa from the oven, plate, and make a sandwhich with the egg. Eat ravenously!