Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl Food for the Non-Fan

There are two kinds of people:

  1. The kind that go to a Super Bowl party for the football.
  2. The kind that go to a Super Bowl party for the food
I suppose you could argue that there are subsets of both groups, such as those who only go to watch the commercials, or those who only go because it's really the only thing going on that particular Sunday night. At any rate, I am firmly planted in group #2. And proud of it! 

Forget the football. Bring on the food, baby!

Hence, I bring you an appetizer that is definitely not meant for the dedicated football fan, but for his/her foodie guest. When I made them and told my DH they were for a Super Bowl appetizer, he said (and I quote), "Yeah, right." He is firmly planted in group #1. 

Who cares if the real fans don't appreciate these delicately crispy, lightly salty, and oh-so-good snacks? They weren't intended for them anyway; they are strictly just for us. You know, the food fans.

Would you believe me if I told you these gourmet-like crisps are super easy? And super quick? Read on, and perhaps I can convince you.

The recipe doesn't contain measurements because it really doesn't matter. You can have as little as 1 TBSP of shredded parmesan, or as much as 3 cups. It all depends on how big your block of Parmesan is, how long you want to spend grating it, and how many foodie friends you have. 

The only thing that's really necessary is that you do indeed begin with a block of Parmesan and grate it yourself. Probably some freshly grated Parmesan at the store would be OK, but I really think it's better to grate it yourself. 

Parmesan Crisps
shredded parmesan
freshly ground black pepper

Place the shredded parmesan 1 TBSP-full at a time on a silicone- or parchment- lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Bake for 5 minutes at 400F or until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden crispy. 

Allow to cool, then carefully remove from the cookie sheet and place in serving dish. 

Most people say these are best served the same day they're made, but I actually think they are sturdier and crisper the next day. They didn't make it any farther than that around here....

Of course, you can use different seasonings, by the way. I like the simple subtlety of the black pepper, but spicy seasonings like cumin or red pepper flakes would be delicious, as would more Italian herbs like rosemary or basil. Try them all and see what you like best!

These also work great as a delicious accompaniment to soup or salad.

So QUICK: 10 minutes or less for one cookie-sheet-full! You definitely have time for that, especially since that small amount of time is so well invested in deliciousness like this. 

Can you grate cheese and dump it on a pan? Then you can make these. EASY-Peasy!

CHEAP, on the other hand, is debatable. If you're making a batch large enough to feed a lot of guests, it will take a large amount of Parmesan cheese, which gets expensive. However, if you just make a few as a garnish, or as part of a platter of other appetizers and noshy stuff, the expense is minimal. It doesn't take much Parmesan to make a TBSP worth of shredded cheese.

It's very HEALTHY, too! Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, of course, but also vitamins B and A, among other things. So enjoy guilt-free!

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