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Spanish Stuffed Swiss Chard Stems Recipe - Pencas de Acelga Rellenas


Stuffed Swiss Chard Stems - Pencas de Acelga Rellenas

Stuffed Swiss Chard Stems - Pencas de Acelga Rellenas

Lisa Sierra (c) 2010 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Swiss Chard stems that are thick and wide are cooked and stuffed with Serrano ham and Spanish cheese, like mini-sandwiches. Then they are breaded and fried until golden brown. The cheese melts and its flavor intensifies. These are perfect for a special dinner. Serve 2 of these stuffed "pencas" or stems for each person as a unique and very tasty first course.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 6-8 Swiss chard stalks with leaves
  • 3-4 thin slices Serrano ham
  • 3-4 thin slices Spanish cheese
  • 4-8 oz unbleached white flour for breading
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) olive oil for frying


This Stuffed Swiss Chard Stems recipe makes 2-3 servings as a first course or tapa.

Clean the Swiss chard, rinsing each one thoroughly under running water to remove all dirt and debris. Remove the leafy green part of Swiss chard, leaving the stem. Reserve the leaves for use later. Trim the stems into rectangles, no longer than 3 inches. Scrape chard stocks with a knife and remove any larger fibrous strings.

Pour 2-3 cups water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Place stacks in pot and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until stalks are softened. Remove stalks from water and allow to drain and cool on a plate.

Prepare a "sandwich" made of the stems. First, lay a slice of ham and a slice of cheese on top of a stem, the lay another stem on top to form a sandwich. Ham and cheese slices should be trimmed so that they do not hang over the sides. Use a toothpick to secure the sandwiches if necessary.

Beat the eggs and water in a small mixing bowl. Spread flour onto a dinner plate. Dip the stuffed stems into the beaten egg, then roll in the flour. Fry the stems until golden brown on both sides.

Remove the stems and allow them to drain on a paper towel. Serve hot as a first course.

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