Frico (Baked Cheese Crisps)

Frico (Baked Cheese Crisps)

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    • Prep 15min
    • Total30min
    • Servings10

    Baked melted parmesan crisps are an elegant and tasty garnish for a salad, soup or about a million other things...MORE+LESS-

    ByMichelle P

    Updated September 28, 2014



    cups grated parmesan cheese


    Hide Images

    • 1

      Preheat oven to 425°F.

    • 2

      Spread grated parmesan into clumps about 1/4 inch thick on the pan/silpat.

    • 3

      Bake until until the clumps have melted and are just turning brown at the edges.

    • 4

      Remove from oven and, working quickly, shape as desired.

    Nutrition Information

    No nutrition information available for this recipe

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    Recipe Summary

    • 10 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

    In a medium bowl, toss together cheese and flour. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into skillet to form a 4-inch round.

    Cook until cheese is starting to melt and become firm, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, turn continue cooking until it is firm and slightly golden, 15 to 30 seconds more.

    Immediately drape frico over a rolling pin, and let cool slightly to set the shape. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture. If skillet gets too hot and frico begin to color too quickly, remove from heat for several minutes before proceeding.

    How do you make Frico?

    Frico are simple to make, however they must be watched closely while cooking so they do not burn. Basically, you add a little mound of Parmesan cheese to a hot pan and watch it turn into a delicious and cheesy wafer.

    Another piece of cooking advice: use a non stick skillet so the cheese doesn't stick to the pan. I used a small omelet skillet and made three Parmesan crisps at a time. Use a plastic spatula to turn the crisps so both sides get melted.

    This time I topped the frico with black pepper but they can be made with any type of herb or spice. Rosemary also pairs well with Parmesan cheese.

    Before you go.

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    How to Make Frico Cups

    Today we&rsquore answering one of the oldest questions known to humanity:

    How do you get picky kids (or adults) to eat salad?

    If it kills you to set salad on the dinner table night after night, with the dim hope that one day your kids (husband, or girlfriend&hellip) might actually try it, I&rsquove got a trick that might help.

    Serve your raw green salad in frico cups!

    Frico cups are small cups made entirely out of cheese. They are naturally low carb, gluten-free, and completely irresistible.

    You know that little bit of cheese that oozes onto the skillet when making a grilled cheese sandwich? The stuff that turns dark and crispy and perfect for popping in your mouth? Frico cups are essentially an entire serving bowl made of that rich crispy cheese.

    You can make them in various sizes. Yet I&rsquove discovered if you bake them about the size of a paper muffin liner and fill them with a smaller serving of salad, they&rsquore more likely to disappear!

    All you need is shredded Parmesan cheese, and maybe some cracked pepper.

    Measure Parmesan cheese, in ¼ cup portions, onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Leave plenty of space around each pile.

    Spread the cheese into a flat circles, about 4 ½ inches across. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

    Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, until melted and golden around the edges. They should still be pliable at this point.

    Flip a muffin pan over. Then carefully move each cheese disk onto an inverted muffin well, letting it drape down over the sides. In 5 minutes, the cups will be dry enough to lift and fill.

    Make slightly smaller cups by fitting the hot flexible cheese disks down in a muffin pan, right-side-up.

    Make itty bitty cups using 2 tablespoon portions of cheese and a mini muffin pan.

    You can even make extra large frico cups using cereal bowls!

    Frico cups are like magic for getting picky eaters to try salad. You can also fill them with antipasto for simple elegant appetizers!


    Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

    Working in batches, scoop 1 tablespoon mounds of finely grated Parmesan cheese onto the prepared baking sheet. Evenly spread each mound about 3 inches wide and space at least 1-inch apart.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

    Bake until light brown and melted, 5 to 6 minutes (check occasionally while baking to ensure they don't turn too brown). Remove from the oven. Repeat with remaining batches.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

    It is possible to shape a frico into different forms. It is necessary to work quickly while they are still warm since they harden as they cool. To form tuile-like shapes, gently roll a warm frico around the handle of a wooden spoon.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

    To form cups, drape over an inverted mini muffin pan or over small inverted prep bowls.

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

    Cool completely on the baking sheet and enjoy!

    Recipe Variations

    • A few twists of freshly cracked black pepper can be added for a "cacio e pepe" style variation.
    • Use Grana Padano cheese for a slightly different flavor.

    How to Store

    Let the frico cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to three days. Eat them fresh for best results.

    What Does Frico Mean?

    Frico refers to two Italian dishes: the thin and crisp frico, which are crackers made solely of melted cheese, and Frico Friulano from the northeast region of Italy. This traditional, soft version of frico was originally created as a way to repurpose leftover cheese rinds into a new dish. It is prepared with a high-fat cheese such as Montasio and combined with other ingredients such as potatoes, onions, and sometimes other leftover vegetables. The potatoes and onions are thinly sliced and cooked in a large frying pan with butter or olive oil. An equal amount of shredded cheese is added to the pan and then the mixture is pressed to form a thin cake. It is cooked until the cheese melts and becomes crisp and golden brown. The cake is then carefully flipped over to brown the other side. Frico Friulano is then cut into wedges and served with polenta and a glass of Italian red wine.

    Here’s my running tally of what I made for our Tabasco Challenge:

    Day 1 : Fiery Frico Cheese Crisps
    Day 2 : ? (hint: condiment!)
    Day 3 : ? (hint: salad!)
    Day 4 : ? (hint: angry!)
    Day 5 : ? (hint: bawk, bawk!)

    Please come back tomorrow for another Tabasco-inspired recipe!

    Frico With Potatoes & Pancetta

    Frico are simply cheese crisps, are often made from grated Parmesan or Montasio cheese and can be used simply to nibble on with a glass of wine, or as a garnish for salads or risotto. I have made frico frequently over the years, but recently came across an Italian recipe that included potatoes, pancetta and onions along with the grated cheese. The frico made with the addition of these other ingredients are much larger, and the frico are then cut into wedges and served, making them a much heartier appetizer than the usual frico. Montasio is a cheese made from cow’s milk, produced in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions of northeastern Italy.

    I adapted my recipe to include green onions or scallions in place of regular onions as I felt they added a freshness, as well as color to the dish. The potatoes, pancetta and onions are blanketed on both sides with the grated cheese, which when cooked becomes crispy and golden brown. These frico are quite easy to make, although you do need to wait until the cheese turns golden brown before you turn the frico. These frico are best enjoyed soon after they are made as they tend to get hard if left sitting for too long.

    Buon Appetito!
    Deborah Mele 2012

    Fun with Frico (Italian Parmesan Cheese Crisps)

    With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays fast approaching, we're all looking for fun and festive ideas for finger-food type snacks and hors d'oeuvres.  Since pretty much everyone I've ever met enjoys a cheesy, crispy snack cracker, I thought I'd kick my holiday posts off with this easy-to-make Preschutti family favorite!  

    Having its origin in the Italian region of Friuli, "frico" are baked or fried, lacy-looking, wafer-like, delicate Italian cheese crisps.  They are typically broken into pieces then sprinkled over a main dish or a salad for a flavorful crunch, or, are used to garnish soups or stews!  

    They are really easy to make and when they are hot out of the oven they are extremely pliable, making them easy to mold into small baskets or larger salad bowls.  Here in the USA, frico is typically made with shredded, not grated, Parmigiano-Reggianno cheese.  That being said, in Italy they are traditionally made with aged Montasio cheese, which is produced in the Friuli-Venezia Gulia region of Italy.  About this region and cheese, Mario Batali artfully writes:

    "It is the region of Italy that lies between two worlds.  It is an unassuming region of thundering importance, offering an abundance of gastronomic treasures and stunning natural beauty, where all that is Italian collides with Central and Eastern Europe.  Latin and Roman traditions meet and mingle with Austrian and Slovenian custom and culture, and from this heady mix comes some of Italy's finest and most precious products:  incredible wines, the sweetest Proscuitto, and the noble, elder statesman of cheeses, Montasio."  "Montasio is a wonderful table cheese, perfect for enjoying with one of Friuli-Venezia Gulia's excellent wines, a savory mostarda, or one of the luscious stone fruits that are grown in Friuli, such as peaches, plums, and cherries."  "Montasio is also the cheese that is used to make frico, a beloved dish that is relatively unknown outside of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but somewhat of an icon of Friulian cuisine."

    Just reading that description made me get on-line and order a pound of this famed cheese, and, it arrived on my doorstep this morning.  For the record, I did call around to my two local Happy Valley cheese sources first.  No one had it, and, no one seemed familiar with it either. That is not a criticism, I mention it because, unless you live in the city, it is what I suspect you'll find if you go looking for Montasio too!

    At first glance, its color is very similar to Parmigiano-Reggianno with its texture being just slightly softer, or, not quite as granular/crumbly.  Price-wise, I paid $16.99 a pound for my Montasio on-line, vs. $12.39 a pound for my Parm-Regg in my local grocery store.  That being said, the Parmigiano-Reggiano on-line was selling for $18.49 a pound, which leads me to believe the two are comparably priced.  Now for the tasting:  The Montasio is exquisitely nutty and slightly less tangy than the Parm-Regg.  Just like the Parmigiano-Reggiano, I wouldn't hesitate to grate this cheese over hot pasta or melt it over hors d'oeuvres.  As Mario mentioned, this cheese would be marvelous to serve just as at is, alongside some shaved Italian meats, marinated vegetables and or fresh buffalo milk mozzarella as "bar food" to munch on with cocktails.  I'm taking that one step further today:

    Whether you're making frico with Montasio or Parmigiano-Regianno cheese, you are going to need shredded, not finely grated cheese. You won't hear me say this very often, but if you're really pressed for time or don't have a microplane grater with the right size perforations or slits to produce shreds, store-bought, pre-packaged shredded cheese works fine too!

    Line a 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Evenly space and spoon 8, level tablespoon-sized mounds of the shredded cheese  on the lined baking pan.  Using your fingertips, spread each mound out to a thin, airy, lacy-looking thickness.

    Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven 5 1/2-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the bubbles have turned into a light golden brown crust.  Do not over bake as over browning will cause the frico to taste bitter!  Remove from oven and cool completely on the baking sheet, or, to make hors d'oeuvre-sized baskets:

    Remove from oven, and, using a spatula, IMMEDIATELY transfer the still soft frico to a miniature muffin pan. Using a wooden tart tamper, gently press them into a basket shape. Allow frico to cool completely in the muffin pan.  

    Frico (of any shape) can be prepared several hours and up to a day or two in advance of serving. Place on a tray or in a basket and store lightly/semi-covered with plastic wrap until serving time.  

    To accompany every holiday cocktail you serve, place some edible muchies on a plate next to some frico crisps or into mini-frico baskets (my favorite combination is a slice of herbed or peppered salami, a tiny ball of fresh mozzarella, a garlic-y olive and a strip of roasted red pepper.  What a happy start to the holiday season:

    Fun with Frico (Italian Parmesan Cheese Crisps) :  Recipe yields instructions to make as many crisps or baskets and your holidays can handle!

    Special Equipment List :  baking pan(s) parchment paper wooden tart tamper (optional)

    Cook's Note :  To make edible salad baskets, the process is almost the same.  Spread 4 tablespoons of shredded cheese onto a parchment-lined, 9" pie dish.  Bake as directed above.  Remove from oven, and, using a large spatula, remove from parchment and place on top of an inverted cereal-type bowl.  Press down lightly and cool completely on bowl.

    "We are all in this food world together."

    (Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2011)

    Frico Friulano

    Cheese and potatoes: what could be better? This simple recipe from Friuli Venezia Giulia is a delicious example of cucina povera, a humble cuisine that combines on-hand ingredients in genius ways. Frico was first developed as a hearty way to save the remainder of the precious Montasio it is still widely cooked in the region (and beyond) today.

    Montasio, an aged cheese, boasts an aromatic bouquet and fruity, grassy notes. It was first made by monks from the milk of cows that graze in the foothills of the Alps. Hundreds of years later, the “recipe” is almost the same. In fact, in 1986, Montasio was awarded protected designation of origin (DOP: refresh your certification expertise here), cementing the production methods. After being brined and salted, Montasio is aged for a minimum of 60 days (and up to more than 18 months), allowing the flavors to intensify over time.

    Hungry yet? Think like the ancient Friulians: forage your cupboard for cheese and potatoes, and create the traditional recipe below!

    Frico Friulano (Friulian Cheese & Potato Crisp)
    Recipe courtesy of Eataly

    ½ pound Montasio, grated
    1 medium potato (½ pound), peeled & grated
    1 small onion, sliced
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    Salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

    Pour the olive oil into the skillet, set over medium heat, and scatter in the sliced onion. Cook for a minute, then scatter the potato in the pan. Toss and tumble the potatoes with the onion, and season with the salt and grinds of black pepper. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing frequently, until the potatoes are lightly crisped and golden.

    Add the Montasio. Combine with the potatoes and onion, until the cheese is well distributed. With the spatula, clean the sides of the skillet and smooth the vegetables and cheese into a neat pancake-like disk, filling the pan bottom.

    Lower the heat and let the frico cook, undisturbed, as the cheese melts and crisps, until the bottom is very brown and nicely crusted, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan to loosen the disk, put a large plate on top and invert, dropping the frico onto the plate, then slide it back in the skillet, top side down. Cook until the second side is crisp and brown, about 5 minutes more.

    Slide the frico onto a plate, slice into 6 wedges, and serve immediately.

    Buon appetito!

    Only have Montasio on hand? Try an even simpler version of this recipe: Frico Friabile!

    Discover the taste of Montasio for yourself without leaving town at your local Eataly! We're featuring the best food and wine from Friuli Venezia Giulia for the next month. Buon viaggio!

    Watch the video: Crispy Cheese Frico (August 2022).