Frico With Potatoes & Pancetta
Frico are simply cheese crisps, are often made from grated Parmesan or Montasio cheese and can be used simply to nibble on with a glass of wine, or as a garnish for salads or risotto. I have made frico frequently over the years, but recently came across an Italian recipe that included potatoes, pancetta and onions along with the grated cheese. The frico made with the addition of these other ingredients are much larger, and the frico are then cut into wedges and served, making them a much heartier appetizer than the usual frico. Montasio is a cheese made from cow’s milk, produced in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions of northeastern Italy.
I adapted my recipe to include green onions or scallions in place of regular onions as I felt they added a freshness, as well as color to the dish. The potatoes, pancetta and onions are blanketed on both sides with the grated cheese, which when cooked becomes crispy and golden brown. These frico are quite easy to make, although you do need to wait until the cheese turns golden brown before you turn the frico. These frico are best enjoyed soon after they are made as they tend to get hard if left sitting for too long.
Deborah Mele 2012
Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
8 Ounces Grated Montasio Cheese
1 Medium Potato, Peeled & Boiled Until Tender
1/3 Cup Chopped Pancetta, Cooked Until Crispy
2 Green Onions (Scallions), Chopped, Retaining Some To Be Used As A Garnish
Cracked Black Pepper
Slice the potato thinly and set aside.
Scatter half the cheese over the bottom of a 8 to 9 inch frying pan, then cover the cheese with the potatoe slices.
Scatter the pancetta and onions over the potatoes and sprinkle with cracked black pepper.
Cover the potatoes with the remaining cheese and turn the burner on to medium heat.
Cook the frico until the bottom is a deep golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Place a large dinner plate over the frying pan and carefully flip the frico over onto the plate.
Slide the frico back into the frying pan and cook this side until golden brown like the first.
Turn the frico out onto a cutting board and use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into wedges.
Place the wedges onto a platter, and scatter the remaining green onions on top.
Sprinkle the top with a little additional cracked black pepper, then serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano