Impressive Parmesan Crisps – alone with drinks, or sandwiched with cheese as a starter

These parmesan crisps are dead easy to make.

They make a whole range of starters look professional and impressive – for example with the naughty sardine pâté in the 100 days of lunch post, or sandwiching together some cream cheese and served with a tomato coulis.

They are also good on their own with drinks…..

……as well as with soups.

You can use either Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) or Grana Padano – go here for more information on the difference.

You can also make cheddar crisps by mixing 120g/4 oz grated cheddar with 4 tsps of plain flour, a pinch of cayenne pepper or sweet, smoked paprika and maybe some chopped nuts or slivered almonds. Bake as described below.

Alternatively, you make them even more impressive (this idea from Sue Quinn’s Roasting Tray Magic) by adding poppy seeds and garlic granules…you can stop the garlic granules from clumping, she says, by grinding in a pestle and mortar. Personally, I think just the poppy seeds would work well.

You can use them to make an impressive starter. Mix equal quantities of mascarpone and soft goats cheese with a little horseradish, some lemon zest and some pepper. Use this as the filling in a sandwich of parmesan crisps. Make a difference-making tomato salsa, but substitute chives for the shallot, and serve your ‘sandwiches’ with the tomato salsa drizzled artistically around.

They will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container.

Recipe for making Parmesan crisps

For about twelve mug-diameter crisps you’ll need 100g/1 cup Parmesan, grated, ideally using a micro-plane since ribbons work better than grains.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. Line a big, flat baking tray with silicone paper
  3. Drop 12 heaps of Parmesan (about a tablespoon each) as spaced out as you can get (they don’t in fact expand much), and as broadly circular as you can (you’re a perfectionist? Drop them into a round pastry cutter)
  4. Bake for about five minutes – watch them like a hawk which will be a challenge if you have an Aga – it’s almost worth not closing the door. As soon as they stop bubbling take them out
  5. Leave them to harden up a bit and then gently move with a spatula onto a wire rack to cool
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