BEFORE WE GET STARTED, I SHOULD LET YOU KNOW, **THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.
Feeling a little hungry and want to summon up something super simple? Tired of being asked to bring appetizers to boring social functions like baby showers and PTA meetings? Have a spare ram skull hanging around and no idea what to do with it?
Well, you’re in luck because this recipe will cover all those scenarios, and more!
For this recipe you will need:
- 1 Pound assorted sliced deli meats (such as salami, spicy capicola, mortadella, and bresaola but it’s always dealer’s choice…whatever makes you happy works.)
- 1 Pound assorted cheeses (for this platter I used Vermont Cheddar and orange rind Muenster. Parmigiano-Reggiano is always a good choice, especially if you plan on including fruits like grapes as are other cheeses like sliced Asiago and provolone. Again, dealer’s choice.)
- ½ Pound prosciutto, sliced
- ¼ Pound mozzarella pearls, drained
- ¼ Pound marinated olives
- 1 loaf either regular French baguette or Black like my Soul baguette bread, sliced
- serving platter
- small bowls for olives and mozzarella pearls
- 1 ram skull (I got mine here)
- Plastic food wrap (optional)
- Red food coloring
- Spray bottle
- Olive oil
- Food safe brush
THOROUGHLY WASH AND DRY YOUR SKULL. Because you will be using it as the centerpiece to your antipasti platter and covering it with prosciutto, you want to make sure that it is clean and dry.
**SIDE NOTE: While it might be tempting to use a real skull for this project (because who doesn’t have a real human skull hanging around the house?!) I would personally recommend using a resin/plastic one. Not only will plastic be much easier to clean, (top rack dishwasher safe!) but the porous nature of real bone makes it a magnet for bacteria. Prior to this tutorial, I used a food safe sealer to completely coat my resin skull. For anyone not using a sealed skull, I suggest wrapping your skull in plastic wrap, just in case. Press the wrap onto the surface of the skull, ensuring that the bone is fully covered.
COVER YOUR SKULL IN PROSCIUTTO. Working from the eyes outward, wrap your skull in the sliced prosciutto. Pay attention to the curvature of the skull. You will want the fat veins in your prosciutto to follow those natural lines.
I’m using a skull with open eye sockets and nasal cavity. I prefer this skull because it allows me to really tuck the meat into those openings, giving the skull a very realistic look. It might not be as realistic as a real skull with a more enclosed socket, but for our purposes, I think it actually looks better.
**SIDE NOTE #2: Having done this project for years now, I’ve discovered that the higher the grade of prosciutto you use, the more difficult it is to get it to adhere to your skull. Normally I’d tell you to splurge and get the highest quality ingredients possible for all your projects, but in this one situation alone, I’m going to encourage you to actually save some money and go for a lower quality meat. Because this is a cured ham product, the higher quality meat tends to be more dried out and a little leaner. The lower quality seems to be much fattier and a little less “cured” which makes it stick to the skull and itself much better. Like I said, this is a one time deal when I tell you to go for the low shelf stuff. (Save your pennies on the prosciutto and spend them on the rest of your meat platter.)
Once you’re happy with how your prosciutto covered skull looks, it’s time to add a little color. Why are we adding color? Pork (which is what prosciutto is made of) is considered a white meat (fun fact, so are people, but that’s a different post), whereas goat and lamb are considered a red meat. Because of this, we need to add a bit of “red” to our platter.
Using your spray bottle, spritz the prosciutto with a light coat of color. You don’t want to saturate it…just wet it enough to give it some depth.
Doesn’t that look better! Now, to keep that glossy, just peeled look, we’ll need to give it a light coat of olive oil. Use your food safe brush to brush all the prosciutto with a light coating of oil. Again, like the food coloring, you don’t want to soak it…just a light coat.
ARRANGE THE REMAINING MEATS AND CHEESES AND BREAD on the platter. Place the marinated olives in a small serving bowl. Place the mozzarella pearls in the small serving bowl.
SERVE, allowing guests to choose their own selection of antipasti on their plate.
FOR BEST RESULTS AND GUEST SATISFACTION, I suggest aiming for at least two layers of prosciutto. It will give your skull a nice “meaty” look as well as allow your guests to peel back a few layers before revealing the ‘bone’ beneath.
And as they say in Hell…
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