The best cheese cracker: Frico
There is a special kind of lovely that happens when you take a good cheese and bake it into a frico. What, you may ask, is a frico? This is that lacy, crispy bit of cheese that happens when you accidentally drop a shred or three when topping, say, nachos or some other cheese-laden food vehicle. Why not go from a shred or three, and deliberately make mounds of shredded cheese, bake it at a high temp, and create lovely cheese crunch crackers? Super easy, super versatile, super quick to make. My three demolished off a batch (from a pound of shredded cheese) with veggie soup. You can serve these as an appetizer. You can add them to a cheese board. You can use any kind of strong-flavored cheese, from cheddar to gouda to manchego. Pick your favorite, add in a seasoning if you like (some suggestions below), and get frico-ing!
16 oz thinly shredded strong flavored cheese like sharp cheddar, gouda, Parmesan or Manchego
Optional: several grinds black pepper, smoked paprika, Aleppo, cracked chili, cinnamon, etc
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a few large rimmed baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a tablespoon, scoop about 1 tablespoon of cheese into a mound. It's okay if the cheese is a little mounded; the more you spread the grated cheese, the more lacy your resulting frico will be. Space the mounds about 1 inch apart. If sprinkling on any seasonings, do it now on each mound.
Slide the pan into the oven and bake until light brown and melted, 5–6 minutes (check occasionally while baking so it won't turn too brown). Remove sheet from oven and let frico cool completely.
Want to get fancy? Shape the frico: leave baking sheet in oven with door open; use a small offset spatula to remove frico one at a time, working quickly to shape. To form tuile-like shapes, gently roll warm frico around the handle of a wooden spoon. To form cups, press onto the bottom and up the sides of a mini muffin pan. Keeping the pan in the oven helps to keep the frico warm allowing a little time to mold; it hardens quickly as it cools.)