2 or 3 slices applewood-smoked bacon, finely diced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion, cut into 1-inch strips
1/3 cup minced leeks (white part only)
1 cup crème de cassis
1 cup fresh orange juice 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/6 cup dried cherries
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, render bacon. Add onions and leeks and cook until translucent. Remove pan from heat, add cassis, and return to fire (the alcohol may flame up; be careful). Add orange juice and balsamic vinegar and reduce for 4 minutes. Add cherries and continue reducing until liquid is a light syrup. Season with salt and pepper; strain if desired and set aside. Just before serving, stir in butter.
Serrano Ham, Peaches, and Filo
6 sheets frozen filo dough, thawed
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces thinly sliced Spanish serrano ham or other imported cured ham
3 to 4 ripe peaches (or 12 to 16 ounces frozen sliced peaches), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese
cassis glaze (recipe above)
baby watercress or other small greens
coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out filo and cover with a damp dish towel to keep it moist. Carefully put a filo sheet on a flat surface and brush with melted butter. Repeat 5 times, laying sheets one on top of the other. With a round cookie cutter 2 inches in diameter or larger, cut the 6-layer stack of filo into circles (3 per serving). Place the circular stacks on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Cut or tear serrano ham into pieces approximately the same size as filo rounds, put on a sheet pan, and bake until lightly crisped but still pliable, about 6 minutes. (The ham becomes stiffer as it cools, so do not overcook.)
Sprinkle peach slices very lightly with salt. To make 1 serving, put a thin slice of fontina on a salad plate to serve as “glue.” Set a filo stack on the cheese, cover with a layer of peach slices, add another slice of fontina, and then some ham. Repeat with a second series of filo, peaches, fontina, and ham, and top with a third filo stack. Drizzle each napoleon with cassis glaze, garnish with watercress, and sprinkle with pepper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.