I actually have an experiment gone right to share today…surprise! I catered my friend Kelly Treater’s bridal luncheon recently, and made these tasty garnishes for the salad…Parmesan Hearts.
The recipe is simple…freshly grated Parmesan cheese, black pepper, and the dried herbage of your choice. Giada from Food Network has a great recipe that inspired me (click here). The method was what tripped me up. If you’re doing free-form wafers, it’s simple enough to just drop a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into a loose mound atop a parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheet, then bake at 400 for 4-6 minutes.
But if you’re like me and enjoy complicating your life, shaped wafers take a little more planning. I didn’t have any oven-proof heart-shaped cookie cutters to use as molds, so I had to play. Here are the ideas that didn’t work:
Plan A: “I’ll just make my own heart-shaped cookie cutter.” I used aluminum foil. It looked more like an actual biological heart than it did the curvy icon of cupid. A one-handed lobotomized monkey could have done better. Utter failure.
Plan B: “I’ll use this copper star cookie cutter I have and see if the method works.” Ummm…yeah. I didn’t. I dropped the cheese into a Pam-coated copper cookie cutter, and baked it. Pam my ASS. That cheese is STILL stuck that damn cookie cutter.
I used my plastic heart cookie cutters as molds. I dropped the cheese into the cookie cutter, carefully spreading it out to fill the heart shape. I removed the mold, then used my fingers to exaggerate the heart shape so that when it spread out, it looked like a heart instead of a blob of cheese.
Crisp, delicious Parmesan heart wafers that pleased all ages… from twenty-something bridesmaids to eighty-something grandmothers-of-the bride. Success! These are great alongside a salad, or just for something different on a cheese tray. Speaking of…Matthew is going to be teaching us all how to do that soon!
I’m not trying to discriminate, but if you have Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, Turette’s, or you just have the Shakes, do not attempt this method. One crazy shudder and it’s game over for your shaped wafers. I should know…they don’t call me Squirrel for nothin’… ;)