There are two things that are abundant in my kitchen right now.
1. Garden greens (My husband apparently did a great job amending our new soil.)
2. Parmigiano Reggiano (A friend gifted me an obscenely large chunk, which I am determined to use for more than just grating.)
Since we’re leaving on vacation tomorrow, those are about the only two things in my kitchen right now. Those, and half a bag of organic potatoes. So, in my quest to create something out of nothing, I decided to create some crispy, crunchy little treats known as frico (or is it fricos?)
A frico is a little cheese crisp, sometimes made with flour, sometimes not, sometimes fried, sometimes baked. They’re terribly easy to make, and fun to experiment with using different cheeses, herbs, and shapes. They add a fun flair to lots of dishes, but none more perfectly than salad or soup.
Ergo, The “Night Before Vacation Frico Salad.”
There are lots of variations in method when making these crisps (a quick Google search will turn up many) but here’s my method:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line a baking stone or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Grate cheese into a bowl until you have one loosely packed cup. (I prefer Parmigiano Reggiano or Mozzarella.)
4. Mix in a sprinkle of oregano or other herb to taste (maybe 1/4 tsp.)
5. Drop cheese onto the parchment paper into round circles, approx. 3″ in diameter (or smaller if you want smaller crisps.) Spread out the cheese so that it is in one thin, even layer with no sparse areas. (You want it to be thin and lacy after baking, with no holes.)
6. Bake in oven until edges brown, approx. 6–8 minutes. (Do not overbake!!)
7. Remove from oven. Gently lift edges with a spatula until you can lift the whole crisp from the sheet.
8. Quickly drape crisps over the neck of a wine bottle (or similarly shaped object) to shape. Allow to dry; enjoy! Store up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Garnish a salad or float them in soup. Your family and/or guests just might think you’ve gone fancy.
Just smile and say “Thank you.”