Fancy Parmesan cheese ideas?

I designed my kitchen in Knoxville so that I’m maximizing my counter space to facilitate my goal of cooking at home more. I bought a block of reggiano parmesan cheese to use in a recipe this week and discovered that a) I don’t need that much for my recipe and b) I better figure out how to use this $10 wedge of cheese. So, does anyone have some fantastically delicious recipes that call for fancy parmesan cheese?

35 Responses to “Fancy Parmesan cheese ideas?”

  1. Scientits says:

    Hi Brendan,

    Here’s a recipe for you:

    Parmesan Crisps
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    Pour a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. A silicone baking sheet is highly recommended. Repeat with the remaining cheese, spacing the spoonfuls about a 1/2 inch apart.

    Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool.

    These are really good on soup, or just to munch on like chips.

    Also, just go to and type parmesan into the recipe search function–you’ll get tons of delicious stuff.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shave it over a nice salad. Shave it over some pasta. Use it how you would cheap parmesan cheese, except that it is better and tastier.

  3. Jay Johnson says:

    Or, if you’ve got too much, bring some over here…

  4. domerlaw2006 says:

    You can also use it to make pesto. Buy some arugula, some walnuts, some olive oil, and some fresh garlic. Grate it up and stick it in a blender/food processor. It freezes really well too so you can keep it a long while and use it whenever.

    I think I stole it from this Emeril recipe:,,FOOD_9936_33607,00.html?rsrc=search

  5. Nadine says:

    This is a summer time traditional Italian “comfort” food:

    Boiled Rice with Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Basil

    4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    6 oz mozzarella
    1 1/2 cups white rice (preferably Arborio)
    2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
    4 to 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded by hand.

    1. Bring butter to room temp and cut it into small pieces.
    2. Shred mozzarella on the largest holes of a grater.
    3. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil, add a tablespoon of salt, when the water remues boiling, add the rice. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon for about 5 to 10 seconds. Cover the pot and adjust heat to cook at a moderate, but constant boil, until the rice is tender, but al dente, firm to the bite. It should take between 15 and 20 minutes.
    4. Drain the rice and transfer to a warm serving bowl. Add the shredded mozzarella, mixing it in quickly and thoroughly so that the heat of the rice can string it out. Promptly add the grated parmesan and stir well so that it can dissolve and cling to the rice. Add the butter, stir once more to melt and distribute it, add the shredded basil leaves, stir again, and serve immediately.

  6. Casey says:

    1. Mail parmesan to hungry brother.
    2. Kick back, relax, and think about how smart you are.

  7. Objective Commenter says:

    Casey’s idea is clearly the best. Only an idiot would not mail him the cheese.

  8. Pope says:

    It is my infallible opinion that Casey should be mailed the cheese.

  9. Hitler says:

    Nein, don’t mail Casey the cheese! Das would make Hitler very sad!

  10. Jay Johnson says:

    Like I said above, definitely no need for postage de fromage. Bring the extra over, and we’ll figure something out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    just eat it with a nice red wine…

  12. Vicki from NJ says:

    it’s great shaved over some grilled asparagus with a little olive oil.

    also, the parmesan crisps are amazing, you should definitely try that.

  13. Nadine says:

    If said cheese was sent to said brother, how does said brother intend to use it? One must judge an action by the quality of the result.

  14. Brendan Loy says:

    Who would have thought that the Parmesan cheese post would get more comments than the blowjob post? Heh.

  15. CKF says:

    Risotto! It takes time and patience, but it’s oooh so yummy! Look at for some great ideas. Favorites of mine: wild mushroom risotto and asperagus risotto. Make a big batch and have great leftovers! :)

  16. Here’s one that went over very, very well:

    Chicken Parmigiana.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Parmesan will last a long time in the fridge (we are talking >3 months), so just use it on your salads, pastas and in other recipes as you need it. You will be surprised that you will be putting it back on your shopping list sooner than you think!

  18. Joe Loy says:

    Leanna says:

    Caesar salad. Maybe chicken Caesar, if the chicken doesn’t drown out the taste of that expensive parmesan cheese. Or take it over to Jay’s, with the stipulation that he use it for a meal involving you two as guests. And that he make the meal himself. And provide some really good wine to go with that meal.


  19. Mike says:

    Pasta carbonara (stolen from the Rachel Ray recipe):

    1/4 pound pancetta
    1/2 cup grated reggiano
    1 pound pasta (linguine, spaghetti, that sort)
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    3 cloves garlic
    2 eggs
    splash of milk
    pepper and parsley to taste.

    Put a pot of oil on to boil. Cut the pancetta into 1/2 inch pieces, heat on medium high in a large skillet until it starts to brown. Remove from heat and put on paper towels to dry. Add pasta to boiling water. Let it boil for 5 minutes before starting the sauce. Drain it when it’s al dente, give it a quick rinse of cold water, and drain well.

    Going back to your skillet, heat the live oil on very low heat with the garlic. (My note: garlic powder works just fine). Beat the two eggs with a splash of milk and a spoonful or two of the water from the pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the oil and toss it to coat the pasta, while turning the heat up to medium. Pour on the egg mixture, throw in the pancetta and the parsley, and toss again. Turn off the heat, add the cheese and pepper and mix a final time.

    It’s from her 30 minute meals book. I actually made this for dinner earlier this week, and it was my first time with the recipe. From the time I turned on the tap to begin filling my pot of water to the time I started dishing out the pasta was 31:04. I was pleasantly surprised it worked.

  20. Nadine says:

    Can Becky do a Wednesday food question feature? And what happened to the regular cats and Robbie feature? And could you please include Jay’s hound dogs.

  21. MumZ says:

    Parmesan lasts a long time in the refrigerator if it is sealed well! You could also make an appetizer for when you invite Jay and co over- make parmesan bread twists using frozen puff pastry dough- unfold it, butter it, and generously sprinkle with the parmesan. Fold it in half, cut into 1/2 inch slices, twist, and bake!

  22. Sean says:

    Well, Brendan, the blowjob post wasn’t asking for advice. :-)

  23. Joe Loy says:

    Well, yeah, plus you can’t Mail one of Those to Casey ;>

  24. Anonymous says:

    Melt it over ketchup flavored potato chips. Serve with mayo for dipping and a six pack of schlitz light.

  25. Anonymous Hoosier says:

    I’ve had great success with a March, 2007 recipe from Cooks Illustrated for parmesan-crusted chicken. Their great trick: shred 1/2 ounce of Parmesan on the smallest holes of a box grater and use it as the base layer of cheese, then shred the rest on the largest holes of the box grater as the outer layer.

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each), tenderloins removed, breasts trimmed of excess fat and halved horizontally
    Table salt and ground black pepper
    1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
    1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup),
    3 large egg whites
    2 tablespoons minced fresh chives (optional)
    6 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
    4 teaspoons olive oil
    1 lemon , cut into wedges

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to even 1/4-inch thickness. Pat dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper.

    2. Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together 1/4 cup flour and grated Parmesan cheese in pie plate. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites and chives (if using) together until slightly foamy. In second pie plate, combine 2 cups shredded Parmesan and remaining tablespoon flour.

    3. Using tongs and working with 1 cutlet at a time, coat chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Transfer chicken to egg-white mixture; coat evenly and let excess run off. Coat chicken with shredded Parmesan mixture, pressing gently so that cheese adheres. Place on wire rack.

    4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 2 cutlets in skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook until cheese is pale golden brown, about 3 minutes. While chicken is cooking, use thin nonstick spatula to gently separate any cheesy edges that have melted together. Carefully flip cutlets and continue to cook until cheese is pale golden brown on second side and meat is no longer pink in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towel and return to medium heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook remaining 2 cutlets. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

  26. Jay Johnson says:

    That’s the great thing about Parm/Regg cheese. It lasts a long time (in a Zip bag) in the fridge, and it goes great with almost anything.

    Sure, you can make those great recipes that people have already mentioned (carbonara, pesto, etc.), but you can also use it as just an accent on almost anything. You can use it to dress almost any cooked veggie (broccoli, spinach, etc.), eat a slice of it with some acidy fruit like a granny smith apple, or just about anything.

    It mixes well with regular and panko bread crumbs to make excellent crusts on oven baked or fried meats. The flavor of real Parm/Regg is much richer than that shaky stuff in the green can, that you’ll want to use it.

    Also, keep in mind that you’d want to likely salt anything you’re using it on less than you otherwise would, as the Parm/Regg can be quite salty.

    And, like I’ve said before, bring it over, and we’ll figure something out!

  27. Jay Johnson says:

    Speaking of food, have you guys been to the Fresh Market yet? If not, we need to take you.

  28. PatGLex says:

    And if you want to preserve it even longer, cheese does very well in the freezer.

  29. Bonnie says:

    I’m liking the suggestion that Becky pose a weekly cooking question. I have some great new recipes thanks to everyone’s input!

  30. marty west says:

    I think Jay really wants to hang out with you guys…

    I have always been a fan of eating “fancy” cheese by themselves with an appropriate wine. I think someone suggested “red” wine…actually white wine works best with parmesan…in particular a chardonnay. If you spend more than $12 on a bottle of wine you’ve spent too much.

    So cut the cheese! And open the wine!

  31. marty west says:

    And I totally dig the cooking reccs….or a weekly recipe thread…

    you could suggest a main ingredient and we could all reply with our own recipes or family favorites…sort of like iron chef minus the iron chef and time limit….

    I love being a foodie.

  32. Jay Johnson says:

    Oh yeah, another thing that I just thought of, in all of the parm/regg review that is awesome.

    Of course, you’ll probably want to include some cheddar/colby type cheese as the main part, but parm/regg goes really well in cheese grits.

    For you non-southern types, other people elsewhere call it Polenta, and charge way the hell too much for it.

  33. PPD says:

    Jay, you’ve crossed the Desperate line and are now bordering Creepsville.

  34. dcl says:

    Don’t know what to tell you, parmesan cheese never ends up on my shopping list… stupid food allergies…

  35. Keri says:

    I second the risotto idea, or toss with pasta, chopped basil, garlic and sundried tomatos. Or chopped fresh tomatos. Those are my favorite uses.

    This is like my favorite post ever! (Dude, totally…) Or pretty close at least.