Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 min
Yield: Eight 9-inch crisps
These paper-thin wafers, based on the frico of Friuli, Italy, are spectacular appetizers. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stabilized with a minute amount of flour, is sprinkled into a hot nonstick pan to form a thin pancake of melted cheese that hardens into a lacy wafer with the clear, delicious flavor of the cheese. There is no added fat, and the cheese goes a long way: A single ounce yields a dramatic 9-inch disk that is wonderful with Champagne, wine, or cocktails. Broken up, it can also garnish salads, soups, and vegetable stews.
As with pancakes or crêpes, it is best to experiment with the first one or two crisps, until you get a feel for the correct heat of the pan. Once you get the hang of it, you can make a whole batch in ten minutes. Use only real Parmigiano-Reggiano or another hard aged grating cheese, such as Montasio. Under no circumstances use domestic Parmesan.
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.