Ideal for drop-in company, when made with a good Parmigiano Reggiano, these are unforgettable — they are eaten immediately and you are begged for more. The secret is a nonstick pan, parchment paper or a commercial nonstick product such as Sil-Pat. A little experimentation is necessary first time around, so be prepared to make a few and eat them all yourself.
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Drop the Parmesan in rounded tablespoons, about half an inch apart, onto a nonstick surface, like a nonstick cookie sheet or parchment paper-lined pan. Bake 3 to 5 minutes until melted, lacy and spread out on the pan. They should be golden. If you can smell the cheese, it’s a good thing to check. Do not worry if they all melt together on the pan. Remove from pan with a metal spatula and let cool briefly on an iron rack or eat right away. If the cheese all melted together in one sheet, break into smaller pieces. They are still delicious but not round — no one will care. They can be made in advance, but tend to clump together in humidity, so separate with sheets of parchment paper and keep airtight.
Variations: The first time I did this was with my first nonstick pan and grated cheddar cheese. Cheddar, Romano and many other cheeses do equally well. Since they all vary with fat content, a little practice and testing with each variety is necessary.
Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, including the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.Nathalie Dupree is the author of 14 cookbooks, including the James Beard award-winning “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.” She lives in Charleston and may be reached through Nathaliedupree.com.