Growing up my mother's most popular recipes often involved 4 ingredients or less.
I recall, one holiday season, walking into my classroom's holiday play banquet- card tables lined up with Crock Pots and foiled platters. And, at the end of the line, on the dessert table, there was a beautiful tray of hand iced homemade sugar cookies with each child's name and silhouette on them. They looked as though they'd taken forever to make. Momma, however, was quick to comment under her breath how the mother who'd brought them should have put more time into how they tasted- not how they looked. But, truthfully, great holiday treats can do both- taste and look delicious, and you really only need one key secret ingredient- cheese.
soft cheese is the perfect way to seem pretentious when all you did was roll balls of cheese in colorful toppings. Cheese balls have been gaining in popularity over the past few years and can really become the centerpiece of a spread whether you go small with variety, or big with decor. In fact, I saw a cheese ball decorated with almonds to look like a pine-cone I intend on trying next Fall.
Grab your Stella® Black Pepper Romano cheese and grate it fine- about half an 8oz wedge will yield 1 cup of loosely packed fine shredded cheese, and will make about 15 1.5" baked cheese crisps. Preheat your oven to 315F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (preferred, foil may be used but will cause cheese to continue cooking after removal and could cause issues with sticking.) Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of fine shredded Stella® Black Pepper Romano approximately 1" apart on your lined baking sheet. Don't heap your cheese, an even circle will bake most uniform.
Once your cheese begins to flatten and bubble, as to create pockets in the cheese, your crisps are about done. This typically takes about 3-4 minutes, but will vary depending on your cooking surface and style of sprinkling. If the cheese begins to turn 3-4 shades darker then you are ready to take them out and transfer them to cool- do not let your cheese brown or it will become bitter.
These single ingredient Stella® Black Pepper Baked Romano Cheese crisps make a delicious snack at any party, or can be crumbled on a variety of seasonal dishes, or even salads. Unfortunately, they never last very long though- nobody can ever eat just 1 or 2!
If you're as passionate as I am about fine cheese being a champion ingredient then head on over to Stella® Cheeses and enter to win a trip for 2 to Napa Valley, California!
What Daughter Says: Delicious doesn't have to be complicated during the holidays.