Thursday, May 6, 2010

Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps Dipped in Chocolate and Sea Salt

I'm a big believer in combining savory with sweet, cheese with chocolate, and this recipe by Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, WI on the Whole Foods Market recipe site is absolutely fabulous. Whole Foods had a contest for recipes featuring aged Parmigiano Reggiano, and this was the Grand Prize Winner! Well you'll see why. Once you've tried it, you'll be making this all the time. It tastes fabulous, looks great, and is easy to make. Basically it's grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with chopped almonds baked into rounds and then dipped in melted chocolate and topped with a little sea salt. Appetizer? Dessert? with a glass of wine? As always I recommend using fair trade, organic dark chocolate available at Whole Foods and elsewhere. 

Parmigiano Reggiano Crisps with Chocolate and Sea Salt

Ingredients
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
6 tablespoons finely chopped dry roasted whole almonds (skins on)
4 ounces good quality dark organic fair trade chocolate, finely chopped (I used Amano Jembrana)
1 scant teaspoon vegetable oil
Sea salt for sprinkling (I used pink sea salt)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Toss cheese and almonds together in a bowl. Form 12 mounds of cheese mixture on each lined baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart. Using the back of a spoon, press down on each mound to form a 1/4-inch thick circle. Place one baking sheet at a time on middle oven rack. Bake rounds 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let crisps cool on baking sheets.

Once crisps are cooled completely, line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Toss chocolate with vegetable oil in a small bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip about one-third to one-half of each crisp into melted chocolate, hold a few seconds above chocolate, then place on the lined baking sheet. Immediately scatter a tiny bit of sea salt over chocolate. Let chocolate set before serving. You can put crisps in refrigerator or freezer to speed setting.

Makes about 24 crisps

Photo: Whole Foods

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