Frico, a Friuli-Venezia Giulia recipe, comes from the Carinc Apls in the northeastern Italian area. It is a savory cheese pancake cooked with butter or lard oil. Historically it comes in two versions: crispy cheese or soft with potatoes and onions.
The crispy frico is very thin and is made of only cheese (generally Montasio) that is fried in hot oil and shaped like a cup then filled with Montasio fondue or mashed potatoes or polenta. It can also be served alone as a snack.
The soft frico or potato frico is prepared with aged cheese, potatoes, onions, butter or oil and salt, is presented as a large omelette. It can be enriched with the addition of leek or speck.
Recently the frico is back in fashion in the United States and in particular in New York City where they prepare frico with popcorn and cheddar cheese. In fact, top chef Jean Georges Vongerichten offers it in this variant in a bistro just opened in nyc . This snack-comfort-food fusion version of the classic Italian crunchy frico becomes very light thanks to the popcorn.
Here you are both the classic Italian recipes.
(for a 9-inch round pan - 4 servings)
7 large potatoes cooked and crushed coarsely with a fork
1.5 cup of Montasio cheese (semi-aged, or aged) grated
1.5 cup fresh Montasio cheese diced
1 minced onion
2 tablespoons of butter or lard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to pepper to taste
Brown the onion in the pan with butter and lard oil. When the onion has softened, add the potatoes and the cheeses. Stir to mix the cheese and the potatoes. Keep a medium heat and continue stirring occasionally for at least 15 minutes.
Once the cheese has melted, level the surface and cook the frico over medium heat. As for the omelette, turn it every 10 minutes using a plate or a lid to form a golden crust on both sides. Serve hot accompanied with polenta.
1 cup montasio aged cheese (or parmesan) graded
2 tablespoons cup corn flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
PREPARATION Mix cheese and corn flour in a uniform way. Heat a non-stick saucepan (about 8 inch in diameter) that you will have greased with a light veil of extra virgin olive oil, pour in a thin and uniform layer of grated cheese / corn. Keep the flame alive, but be careful not to burn the cheese.
When forming a golden crust, remove the frico from the pan and place it on an up-side-down glass to give it the shape of a basket. The frico will harden and retain its shape.
Fill the basket with smashed potatoes, polenta or melted cheese.