Peachy the Magazine Holiday 2016 - Page 60

Holiday Delights CHEDDAR FRICO Frico, or “little trifles” in Italian, are very thin, lacy, cheese wafers. Follow these simple guidelines for making perfect frico: Do not grate the cheese ahead of time—it will lose moisture and will not melt or spread out properly. Instead, grate the cheese just before cooking the frico. When cooking frico, the exact timing will vary with the variety of cheese, the level of heat, and the weight of the pan. Frico should never be allowed to become too dark when cooking (when overcooked, the cheese loses much of its flavor and becomes bitter). Starting out, it is best to make the frico one at a time. It’s like making crêpes—expect the first few to be less than perfect. Use them as a guide to adjust the heat and achieve a perfect, evenly cooked wafer. Cooked frico may be placed flat on a paper towel to cool, or you can drape each frico over an ungreased rolling pin as you remove it from the pan. This will give the cooled frico a soft, rounded shape. Frico make a delicious garnish on salads and are a nice alternative to croutons in soup. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. 58 PEACHYTHEMAGAZINE.COM Makes 2 dozen 4-inch frico Note: Sharp Cheddar is the best choice for these frico; the mild variety does not have enough flavor. 10 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated on the fine holes of a box grater to yield 5 cups 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons fresh thyme In a medium bowl, toss the cheese and the flour together. Heat a medium nonstic k skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons of the cheese into the pan to form a circle about 4 inches in diameter. (Cheddar cheese melts together more so than other cheeses, so sprinkle it into the pan so there is plenty of space between the pieces.) Sprinkle 1 or 2 leaves of the thyme over the cheese. Cook until the cheese is somewhat melted but not firm, 1½ to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the cheese over and cook until it is firm and just slightly golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Transfer the frico to a paper towel to cool. Repeat with the remaining cheese.