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Crispy accents to complete your plate

To raise the level of our meals, we need to dress it up and create a unique taste and texture.

Today, I’ll introduce you to cheese crisps. Some of the most fancy restaurants in the world garnish their plates with these delightful little additions.

Always fried for the crispiness, these are fabulous garnishes to steak, seafood, pork and on and on. With a steak, you could whip up some blue cheese sauce and top the whole thing with a cheese crisp. You would have a grilled steak with a two-cheese garnish. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Here are two recipes for cheese crisps. They are distinctly different from each other and each has its own place on your plate.

Swiss Cheese Crisps

3 tablespoons whole milk

2 ounces swiss cheese (Loraine may be best), finely grated

2 tablespoons parmesan Reggiano, finely grated

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

One-eighth teaspoon baking powder

One-eighth teaspoon salt

Pinch of black pepper

1 egg, beaten, room temperature

2 tablespoons beer, room temperature

Vegetable for frying

Heat milk in pan until it bubbles, remove from heat and add cheeses. Blend and allow to cool for 15 minutes while the cheeses melt. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; set aside.

Combine egg and beer in another bowl and slowly whisk in melted cheese and milk mixture. Add flour mixture and blend well, strain mixture through a sieve and let stand for 30 minutes uncovered.

Heat half-inch of oil in a skillet to about 330 degrees. Place batter into a squeeze bottle and drizzle a two-inch circle into the oil (resembles a funnel cake). Fry for just over 30 seconds on each side, remove to paper towel to cool.

Garnish your dish and enjoy!

Parmesan Cheese Crisps

Grated Parmesan Reggiano

Unsalted butter (best to use clarified butter as it has a higher smoke point)

Heat a teaspoon of butter in a skillet until fairly hot (do not burn).   Sprinkle some parmesan onto the butter and spread it out to about a two-inch circle. Gently cook until the first side is golden brown and carefully turn over. Cook second side for a very short time and remove to paper towel. When these come out of the pan they are quite fragile and very flexible, you can make shapes out of them if you please, such as drape them over the round handle of a kitchen tool and when it cools it will retain this shape. Enjoy!



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