Fricos - Parmesan Crisps

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

This is really a cracker made just from Parmesan cheese.  In my local regular grocery store , a 1.76 oz packet of these parmesan crisps was $2.99, almost $27 per pound.  Store brand, ready shredded parmesan in cold case was only $5 per pound. And specialty food stores are even more expensive. You can make lots of small crisps or make a large one and just break it into pieces.

Some instructions on line insist it has to be your own freshly grated parmesan.  Others are insistent on size of grated cheese. Others say pre shredded is fine but it can’t have cellulose in the blend. My store just has potato starch to stop cheese clumping together.  Personally I wouldn’t make them with the cardboard cartons of finely grated parmesan. Some recipes tell you to fry on top of the stove in a skillet.  So much more time consuming as you have to stand and watch.

You can mix ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder into the cheese before scooping. Any kind of cheese and herb/spice combo you fancy.

You can form them into cups of different sizes over base of bowls.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350* Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. I found it easier if I chopped the ready shredded parmesan just a bit more with either immersion blender or food processor.  Look at the photo of just the parmesan crisps.  The middle crisps were easier to form into tidy circle, melted more evenly and stayed more solid rather than lacy appearance of outside crisps because the parmesan shreds stuck out in all directions. But you don’t have to chop them.

3. I used both a one tablespoon and two tablespoon scoop to roughly scoop cheese onto lined baking sheet, leaving enough space to flatten. Flatten, which makes them crispier. They don’t really spread.

4. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes in my oven.  I didn’t like the taste of dark golden brown.  The cheese melts and cooks from outside in.  You have to watch for time and wait until cheese in the middle has melted. Undercooked, the crisps are chewy not crisp. In the photo the lighter brown frico on the outside tasted nicer than darker gold frico the other end of the plate.

Note: They keep crisp for several days in an airtight container. They do break easily.

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