Recipe of the Week: Parmesan Crisps with Charcuterie and Radicchio Salad

parm-crisps We so often chase sugar and fat that we sometimes forget the joys of bitter. This recipe gets your bitter on by juxtaposing ruthless radicchio with meaty, spicy soppresatta and two kinds of cheese to temper the palate palpitations. Add sour flavors from the peppers, crunch from the crisps, and subtly sweet pine nuts and you have a complete flavor profile.

Soppresatta is a peppery, garlic-infused salami from Southern Italy; Tuscany has their own version but is less widely available. This recipe is best with a version that is sweet rather than too hot.

The parmesan crisps are from a Thomas Keller recipe. They are easy to make and very versatile. You can put a variety of different kinds of toppings on them or use them to garnish a soup.

Serve this with an ale with moderate hops and significant malt like an English Brown Ale.

Recipe below the fold

Parmesan Crisps with Charcuterie and Radicchio Salad

Makes 24 rounds.

Crisps are adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller, The French Laundry

The salad is a reformulated presentation of Charcuterie Cones, from Food and Wine magazine (11/2012)

For the Parmesan Crisps:

Ingredients:

1 cup finely and freshly grated parmesan cheese (Use a moist cheese to give the crisp more structure)

Process:

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with oil (or use a silpat)

2. If you have a 2-2 1/2 inch circular mold (I use a biscuit cutter for this), place it in a corner of the baking sheet and fill with 2 teaspoons of cheese. If you don’t have a mold you can just arrange the cheese in rough circles using your fingers. Repeat with the rest of the cheese to give you 12 rounds.

3.  Bake for 7-9 minutes until golden brown. (Watch them carefully and pull from oven before they start to burn. They should be a little soft when you take them out and will harden as they cool. Use a spatula to transfer from pan to paper towels. They can be stored in an airtight container for a day.

For the Radicchio Salad:

Ingredients:

24 slices Soppresatta, thinly sliced in rounds roughly 2 inches in diameter
1 Small head of radicchio, shredded
9 small to medium size pepperoncini, seeded and chopped finely
2 tspn olive oil (or more to taste)
2 tspn red wine vinegar (or more to taste)
8 tablspns pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 oz. goat cheese
a small amount of cream to make the goat cheese soft enough to apply using a pastry bag. This will depend on the consistency of your goat cheese.
salt and pepper to taste

Assembly:

1. In a medium bowl, combine radicchio, pepperoncini, olive oil, and vinegar and mix well. Add salt to taste.
2. Place 1 slice of soppresatta on each crisp.
3. Top each crisp with equal amounts of radicchio salad.
4. In a food processor, mix goat cheese with cream to get desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. (remember the soppresatta is peppery. The dish should be spicy but not overwhelming)
5. Add goat cheese to a pastry bag with medium size tip. Apply goat cheese in concentric circles on top of salad.
6. Top each with 1/3 tablespoon pine nuts.

Serve.

The crisps and salad can be made ahead but don’t put the salad on the crisps until they are ready to be served. Store crisps in a dry environment so they do not get soggy.

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