Frico (Crisps made from Parmigiano-Regianno)

March 18, 2010

From Daniel

This is not so much a recipe as it is a preparation.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Coarsely shred the cheese. I use Parmigiano-Regianno, but any good grating cheese (Asiago, Pecorino, Kefalotyri or even a fairly old gruyere) would work. The amount of cheese you use would, of course, vary depending upon how many of these things you want to end up with. 4 ounces makes roughly a dozen, give or take a few.

Working in relatively small batches, line a large baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick liner (silicone). Combine the grated cheese and a bit of freshly ground pepper (I use about 1/4 teaspoon for every 4 ounces of cheese).

Measuring about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture at a time, arrange the mixture about 4 inches apart on the parchment or liner. Spread and flatten each mound evenly to make a 3 or 3 1/2 inch round. Thinner is better. Thick Frico are chewy rather than crisp.

Bake sheets individually in the middle of the preheated oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Leaving the frico on the baking sheet, cool them for about 2 minutes before transfering each crisp with metal spatula to rack to cool completely. These guys are fragile so be careful.

These are terrific crumbled on vegetables or in salads. They’re a great garnish. Also, by pressing them while still warm into mini-muffin cups you can make little Frico cups that can be filled with all kinds of savory things for delicate, wonderfully-self-contained appetizers.

You can play with these things a lot, actually. You can add herbs and spices, for instance. Try rosemary or thyme. I like adding a little smoked paprika to the mixture. I’ve seen a very interesting recipe that uses cumin seeds. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds lovely.


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