This is one of the those simple dishes that presents well, tastes great, and doesn’t have too many steps to prepare. If you don’t have access to prosciutto, any thin sliced ham will work. I have found that the key to cooking food that has toothpicks inserted is to put them at an angle so they don’t interfere with the pan you are using. This recipe does call for a thicker cut of fish of 1/2 to 1 inch thick. I have never tried this with any variety except a firm white, although another type might work. If you have a skillet that can go in the oven, then it’s a one-dish meal. Otherwise, you’ll need a skillet and a baking dish or a foil lined cookie sheet.
Serves Two. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Ingredients: 2 fish fillets (Haddock, Mahi, Halibut, etc.); 1 Tbs stone ground mustard (or your preference); 2-4 slices prosciutto or other sliced ham; fresh pepper (or 1/2 tsp ground); 2 Tbs olive oil. Place the ham on plate or cutting board. Spread a thin coat of mustard on the fish fillet and a couple of grinds of fresh pepper or a light sprinkling of ground pepper. Place the mustard side down on the ham, coat the other side of the fish with mustard, season with pepper and completely wrap the fish with the ham. This is why you might need two slices per fillet – 1 slice might not wrap all the way around. You can leave the ends of the fillet exposed, but both sides have to be covered. Secure the ham to the fish with toothpicks.
Heat a skillet to medium, heat the olive oil 2-3 minutes. Place the wrapped fillets in the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and cook for another 3 minutes. You may need to hold your finger on the middle of the fillets when turning, although they should hold together inside the ham. If your skillet is oven-proof, place it into the oven for another 8-10 minutes (10 minutes if the fillets are 1 inch thick). If your skillet is not oven-proof, transfer the fillets to a foil lined cookie sheet or baking dish that has either a light coat of olive oil or that has been sprayed with a cooking spray for the same baking time.
The moisture from the ham and the mustard means you don’t need a sauce, but if you want one, I suggest you make a quick white wine and butter sauce in the same skillet that you used for the fish. If you baked the fish in the skillet, remove the fillets to a plate, cover them with foil, and put the skillet on a medium low heat. Add 1/4 cup white wine, scraping the bits of ham and fish into the wine. Add 1Tbs of butter, stir thoroughly and cook down to the consistency you like. If you are baking the fish separately, you can make the sauce as the fish bakes.
That’s it. Gently remove the toothpicks and you’re ready to plate. We usually serve this with a boxed rice dish, a vegetable, and a salad – none of which take much time. Oh, the fillets can be seasoned and wrapped 3-4 hours ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. If you do this, take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.