Just for a change of pace, I thought I’d share an easy recipe for frico or Itallian parmesan crisps.
A couple of weeks ago, I hosted my book club and that means making dinner for a group. One of our members is gluten-free, so I am often on the lookout for recipes without gluten or dishes that allow me to serve gluten foods on the side. I decided to make caeser salad (the dressing is so easy to make from scratch too!) with grilled chicken, and I served the croutons that I made from my homemade rye bread on the side.
Instead of serving shavings of parmesan cheese with the salad, I decided to serve frico.
Frico are a cinch to make. You really don’t need a recipe! There’s really only one ingredient – parmesan cheese (though the original recipe is made with montasio cheese), but I add in some additional flavors. Just make sure you either buy or make parmesan shreds! Ground parmesan cheese will not work! To save time, I bought parmesan cheese shreds. I added in:
- freshly ground black pepper
- cayenne to taste – I like a bit of heat, but this is optional. You could also add any spice or herb you like such as basil, fennel, cumin etc., or skip it altogether.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Make a small mound with 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese (mixture if you added pepper or any other herb or spice) and tamp it down into a round or oval shape. Leave adequate space – about an inch and a half or two – between your mounds because the cheese spreads as it becomes a “frico” or crispy cheese.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the fricos till they are just golden, about 7 minutes depending on your oven. You don’t want to overcook them, or they will be bitter. They should look somewhat lacey. This time, I could have used a little less in each mound to make them lacier and maybe cook them for a minute less so the color was more uniform. Nevertheless, I thought I’d show them to you as is!
Remove them from the oven. If you want flat fricos, you can let them cool on the parchment.
If you want fancy fricos, use a metal spatula to remove them and lay them on a rolling pin and let them cool that way into a curved shape. This time, I went with flat fricos.
We ate them along with the caeser salad, but they are delicious as appetizers too! I love ’em!
Have you tried frico? Let me know what you think if you give them a try!