Frico is a traditional dish of Friuli, a region in north-east Italy, consisting mainly of heated cheese and, optionally, other ingredients, such as potatoes. Originally frico was prepared in the impoverished region as a way of recycling cheese rinds.
Frico the lacy, crispy, browned cheese crust that forms where the cheese meets the side of the pan adds extra-savory crunch to our pan pizza.
Why do people like Frico
In the Italian region Friuli – Venezia Giulia an unique dish is known and appreciated by all: it is the so-called frico, a little pie of potatoes and cheese. It is known for the crunchy crust on the outside and the soft heart on the inside.
This dish comes from the Frulian tradition and it is still nowadays the star of family reunions and parties. Originally, this dish was created to use the cheese left-overs, and it was considered as a meal for pauper people, in particular it was the lunch of woodcutters, easily transportable during the workday.
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Ingredients that go into Frico
- 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 700g (1-1/2 lbs) potatoes, peeled and diced
- 350g (3/4 lb) Montasio cheese, coarsely shredded or cut into small dice
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil, lard, or lardo minced into a paste
- 75g (2-1/2 oz) pancetta, guanciale or speck, cut into small dice (optional)
How to cook Frico
Sauté the onion gently in the olive oil or lard or minced lardo in a skillet (nonstick is best) until soft and translucent, along with the pancetta, guanciale or speck if using.
Add the potatoes and mix together with the onions. Season generously with salt and pepper, then add a glassful of water and cover. Let the potatoes simmer until soft, adding more water if necessary. Uncover and let any remaining liquid evaporate, smashing the potato with a wooden spoon into a very rough purée. (Leave some of the potato dice whole for a more interesting texture.)
Add the cheese and fold it well into the potato and onion. Stir from time to time over gentle heat until the cheese melts completely. Continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened enough that it forms a solid mass.
Now flatten out the mixture and turn the heat up. Let the mixture form a nice brown crust on the bottom, then flip it over and let it brown on the other side, as if you were making a frittata, about 3-5 minutes per side. (Repeat if need be to get a nice crust.)
Serve immediately, while the cheese is still warm and creamy.
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What can Frico be served together with
It is commonly served as part of a cheese platter, as a snack, or grated on top of other foods. Friulano pairs well with several styles of wine due to the variation of flavors. Dry red wines pair well with Friulano.
Other popular Italian food
Besides Frico, there are other Italian food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:
- Bagna Cauda
- Fritto misto piemontese
- Gelato (Ice cream)
- I formaggi ( the Cheeses)
- Il Tartufo (The Truffle)
- Olive Ascolante (Ascoli olives)
- Panzerotto fritto (Fried Panzerotto)
- Pesto Alla Genovese
- Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham)
- Sardine in Saor
- Tortelli and Ravioli