As the summer season begins, so too does entertaining season. One of the more frequent questions I get from students is about appetizers. Everyone seems to be a “deer caught in headlights” about the idea of making small finger foods to pass around to their guests. So, what to make?
Here’s where history and imagination come together to make new and creative ideas. There is really no real limit to what or how you can serve something at a party. The essential ideas behind an appropriate appetizer is that it needs to be shareable, one-to-two bites maximum, and something that is exciting. My advice is to develop a few easily replicable master recipes then just substitute the minor components of it (for example, replacing cream cheese with goat cheese). One of my favorite appetizers is parmesan crisps or “frico” in Italian. They are predominantly used crushed on top of a soup or main dishes to give a crunchy texture, but here we are using them as a vessel to carry a topping.
Step 1: Turn your oven on to 350 degrees F and grate twice as much parmesan cheese as you think you need.
Step 2: Sprinkle parmesan onto a baking sheet or cast-iron cookware using a ring mold to shape perfect rounds or just make free-hand shapes.
Step 3: Bake for roughly 5-10 minutes or until bubbles subside and the crisp begins to take color. Be careful not to overbake!
Note: You can use a glass or mug to shape the crisps into a bowl after removing from the oven.
Step 4: Top with filling and garnish. It's really that easy!
Try this recipe out at your next BBQ or patio get together, and check out The Chopping Block's outdoor grilling classes happening all summer in Lincoln Square for more easy entertaining ideas.
We also do breakfast and brunch foods on the grill, which would be a fabulous theme for a party to start with these parmesan crips! This Sunday, join us for New Orleans Brunch on the Grill for a menu that will start your day off right, the Crescent City way:
- Cajun Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Remoulade
- Grilled Andouille and Scrambled Egg Po' Boys
- Spinach and Grapefruit Salad with Honey-Mint Dressing and Toasted Pecans
- Grilled Peaches a la Mode with Bourbon Butter Sauce