Easy Crispy Cheese Appetizer: Fricos!

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Photo: Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Cheese Fricos
Makes 16 fricos

Traditional fricos are thin, crisp disks formed from small mounds of grated Parmesan, but you can make fricos from most hard-aged grating cheeses.  Some folks like to add flour or spices to fricos, but we don’t.  We think the best fricos are made simply of cheese and used as a crispy finish to a salad or a bowl of polenta. 

It’s easiest to make fricos in your oven using parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet as the liner for a metal baking sheet.

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (or any grating cheese)

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Use a tablespoon to measure a spoonful of the grated cheese. With your fingers, shape the cheese into mounds, arranged about 4 in/10 cm apart.

Bake just until the fricos begin to color, turning golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.  It’s easy to burn them, so as soon as you notice them darken and smell their fragrance, take them out of the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes and then use a metal spatula to transfer the fricos to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you like, you can make these up to 2 days ahead.  Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot with wax paper between them so they don’t stick together. 

Excerpted from Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith (Chronicle Books, 2014).

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