A quick recipe for Parmesan Crisps that will also introduce you to the Silpat non-stick baking mat.
Here’s a recipe that you can literally use for anything – add to a salad, as a topping for a dish, or just for snacking. One very nice benefit of this recipe, if you haven’t been already introduced to the “Silpat,” here’s your opportunity because they will make your cooking/baking life so much easier.
Silpats are made from fiberglass and food-grade silicone. Use them with a high-quality baking sheet, and NOTHING will stick to them. They can be washed and reused thousands of times. They’re approved by every international agency that watches out for food safety, and they’re Kosher certified. Every professional kitchen has been using these products for years. In fact, they’re so commonplace among chefs and bakers that saying the name ‘Silpat’ is like saying “Kleenex” or “Xerox”. There’s nothing else like it.
One more thing about Silpats – they do save lots of time, but they can also make a whole world of difference on the final taste of your dish. Just think: no more after-taste from whatever greasy non-stick oil or spray you usually use on your baking sheet. You can learn more about them from the Silpat company website. And, the best thing is you can buy them just about anywhere. I got mine from Sur La Table – you can see it in my recent video.
Aside from the Silpat, you’ll need finely grated Parmesan cheese. For the best flavor, I highly recommend cheese from Parmigiano-Reggiano. This cheese comes directly from the Parma region of Emilia Romagna in Tuscany, Italy. It’s the original, it’s the best, and you’ll love the nutty taste. Unfortunately, if you try this with a standard parmesan cheese you may end up with a ‘bitter’ tasting crisp!
- Before you do anything, preheat your oven to 400F degrees. I can’t stress this enough. You want to put your baking sheet into a hot oven or the cheese won’t melt well.
- Place a Silpat baking pan liner directly on your cookie sheet.
- Spoon out piles of the grated cheese directly on the Silpat. Your piles can be as big or small as you like. Then gently press the cheese piles into a round shape – they don’t have to be perfectly flat. When the grated cheese melts, the rounds will end up whatever size you flatten them to. They won’t spread, but don’t crowd them on the Silpat – leave a bit of space in between.
- Bake for about 4-5 minutes until they are golden and crisp. Be sure to watch them because they can turn too crispy quickly.
- Allow the rounds to cool for a couple of minutes and then gently transfer to parchment paper to hold for your party. Serve them at room temperature.
They can be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days. Be sure to place parchment paper between the layers of the crisps, so they don’t stick to each other.
You could ‘float’ small crisps in tomato soup or sprinkle them on top of a Caesar salad or even break up larger ones as a quick appetizer with wine. Serve them with just about any light crisp white wine or even a light red like a Syrah.
Have fun and enjoy!