Impressive Appetizer: Parmesan Crackers

January 4, 2011

cheese appetizer

I suppose I don’t need to tell you that cheese and crackers are a delicious combination. Remember being a messy-faced, barefoot kid eating Ritz and Kraft singles? Well how about this: shaved parmesan cheese is already a delicious cracker. A light, salty, crunchy cracker that’s perfect with soups and salads and beyond perfect when stuffed with a lovely mousse. People, I wouldn’t lie about something like this.

Behold, my easiest, most complicated-looking recipe to date: parmesan cheese lightly baked, gently shaped into a cone and piped with a delicious 3-ingredient mousse. Despite coming from the French Laundry Cookbook, these babies are actually easy to make.

I don’t like using the word cute — really ever — but how can I not? They’re the cutest most dignified appetizers I’ve seen in a good long while. And after last weekend, I can promise you that they don’t last long next to a veritable sea of ho-hum chips, dips and crostinis.

After a dormant cooking life last month, I’m back in the swing of things and thank goodness because I have a reputation to uphold. So go. Grab your cheese and get baking. I won’t be hurt.


Parmesan Crisps with Goat Cheese Mousse

Recipe from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry
Serves 16

Note: These crisps are perfect topped with goat cheese mousse but are also great as a cracker or a soup or salad garnish


1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 ounces fresh goat cheese (or other soft goat cheese)
4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley (or basil, or chives, or any other delicious herb) plus 3 tablespoons for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A clean egg carton


buy Latuda online overnight For the Parmesan Crisps:
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place a 2 ½-inch ring mold in one corner of the parchment paper and fill it with one tablespoon of the grated cheese. Using your finger, spread the cheese into an even layer. Repeat to make 8 rounds, leaving at least one inch between them.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crisps are a rich golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 seconds to firm the crisps enough so you can remove them with a spatula. One by one, remove the crisps and gently press each one into a hollow in the egg carton to form a tulip shape. After a few minutes, remove the cooled crisps from the carton and make 8 more crisps

prednisone purchase canada For the Goat Cheese Mousse:
Place the goat cheese in a food processor and process (depending on the cheese used, it may look smooth or crumbly). Pour ¼ cup of the cream through the feed tube and continue to process until the mixture is smooth but will hold a shape when piped; if necessary, add a little more cream. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste and mix just to combine.

The mousse can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days; let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften slightly before piping.

Place the mousse in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip (or just use a spoon). Pipe 2 to 3 tablespoons of mousse into each Parmesan crisp and garnish with herbs.[/print_this]

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill January 4, 2011 at 6:53 am

I always could tell you hated the word cute, but now that you put it in writing, I’m glad it’s out there. I will try to bite my tongue (such a bad habit of saying it, in reference to clothes especially; I blame our culture!)…ha! ;)


Courtney January 4, 2011 at 9:42 am

For the record, cute is okay in conversation. I just don’t like writing it. I’m not sure that makes sense but I’m sticking to it.


Julie January 4, 2011 at 7:37 am

I like making them without the mold– they’re great to put just about any sort of appetizer in and they make it look extremely involved and “gourmet”, when in reality it just takes a few minutes. Or sometimes I just make them and eat them, I’m a rebel that way. I think I originally got the idea from Giada Di Laurentiis, and I make them on a silpat instead of parchment.


Courtney January 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

No, that’s the thing, they’re great alone or as a part of something else. I encourage your rebellion!


Mark January 4, 2011 at 7:54 am

What an awesome idea. Can’t wait to give this a try.


Kristy January 5, 2011 at 5:23 am

This is what my dreams are made of! :-)


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