Frico Suave: Dante de Magistris Teaches How to Make Fricos

By | Boston Magazine |
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Photograph by Bruce Peterson

It tastes like an upgraded Cheez-It, will make you look like a culinary pro at your next dinner party, and just so happens to be incredibly easy to create. Meet the frico, a crispy Italian-style wafer made from baking shallow rounds of shredded hard cheese. “Think of a burger with cheese melted on it—when the cheese gets to the bottom of the grill and gets all crunchy or charred, who doesn’t like that?” explains chef Dante de Magistris, of Dante and Il Casale, who grew up on his grandmother’s fricos. Of course, you don’t have to be an Italian grandmother to master the technique, as de Magistris demonstrates here.

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Illustrations by Liz Noftle

One › Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and shred hard cheese (like Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino)—the thinner the shred, the crispier the wafer.

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Two › On a Silpat (or a cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment or foil and lightly coated with cooking spray) sprinkle cheese into lace-thin flat rounds.

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Three › Bake for three to four minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden (the edges will brown first; wait until the middle turns golden as well).

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Four › For a flat frico, allow to cool before removing. For a cup shape, (see photo), remove immediately, then press over the bottom of a cup until cooled and hardened (about 30 seconds).