As an appetizer or a snack, these pinchos with goat cheese are as easy to make as they are to eat. Lightly toasted baguette slices are topped with a spread of cream cheese, salty serrano ham, and a wedge of warm goat cheese for a melt in your mouth baguette bite…
Pinchos: A Spanish Specialty
If you're not familiar with these Spanish bites, they are tapas — the small snacks you can order in restaurants and bars (tapas bars) in Barcelona and Madrid — but pinchos have one difference: toothpicks. The word "pincho" means "spike" in Spanish, and in this case the toothpick is the spike to secure the ham and cheese to a piece of bread. The toothpick is a non-negotiable component, but you can serve a variety of pinchos with or without bread: seafood, cured meats, cheeses, or olives.
You can find pinchos all over Spain, they're most common in Cantabria and Asturias in northern Spain and San Sebastian, just across the French border. They're popular in the Basque Country as well, only pinchos is spelled "pintxos," but the pronunciation is the same. In other parts of Spain, you might come across pinchitos or pinchos morunos which are pork skewers cooked over charcoal. They're also common in Latin America and the Caribbean — they're a popular local food in Venezuela and in Puerto Rico pinchos morunos are common street food.
Ham And Cheese
Goat cheese is common enough that we won't explain it, but serrano ham (or jamón serrano as it is called in Spain) is a special type of ham that is not like what you would find at an American Christmas dinner. It's dry cured and is very similar to Italian prosciutto. It's an everyday food in Spanish households and it's not unusual to buy a whole leg of serrano ham to keep on the kitchen counter and slice off pieces as needed. In the United States, you can buy it sliced at specialty stores (or a whole leg online) but if you can't find any, prosciutto is a great substitute.
Whether you're making appetizers for a dinner party or you're making easy after-school snacks, these pinchos make easy, quick bites that are both satisfying and tasty.
- Toast the baguette slices, and spread the cream cheese on them evenly.
- Lay thin slices of Serrano ham on top of the cream cheese.
- Heat the goat cheese in the microwave for 30 seconds, and place it on top of the Serrano ham.
- Serve warm.
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.