Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cheese crisps, an easy low carb Atkins recipe

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My mom arrived from the East coast a few days ago and is staying for a nice long visit. I'm completely thrilled. I have a few weeks off from work, and we have a list of things to do once the kids are back in school: movies, shopping, lunch, visiting friends, more shopping. All the girl stuff we don't get to do together that often.

Normally when people visit I spend a lot of time cooking. My mother, however, is on that $^%$&#&*# Atkins diet. I allow that she has been extremely successful on it and has lost a lot of weight in the past year, and I'm very proud of her. And she's not on the all-bacon version, either - vegetables do work their way onto her plate - so I'm not (as) worried about her arteries. But her low carb Atkins diet makes it much harder for me to cook for her.

We had some friends over the other night. They got truffled flatbread and Jarlsberg bacon puffs. But for my mom, I made these low carb cheese crisps. It's one of the easiest cheese recipes you'll find. All it takes is a hot nonstick pan, some shredded cheese, and a spatula. Completely Atkins-friendly, and completely delicious.

This works with any kind of shredded hard cheese. The exact cooking time will vary based primarily on how much water the cheese contains, so watch the pan carefully. And make sure you turn on the fan - pan-fried cheese makes smoke.

Cheese crisps
  • Shredded cheese (e.g. parmesan, romano, Jarlsberg)
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Have a plate lined with paper towels waiting on the counter next to the stove.

Scattering a generous pinch of shredded cheese for each, make three or four small circles of cheese in the pan. You want the cheese spread out, not piled high - this will make the crisps lacy and thin. When the edges start to brown (about 30 seconds), carefully flip over each circle with a thin spatula. Cook another 20-30 seconds, then remove the crisps and let drain on the paper towels. The crisps will - um - crisp up as they cool.

Serve at room temperature.

15 comments:

Susie Bee on Maui said...

How fun for you and your mom to have some time together!

I make something similar with parmesan in the oven-I use them for appetizers or as an adornment to a salad. You can make big ones and mold them over a bowl and then put the salad inside!

http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/11/recipe-for-parmigiano-reggiano-lace.html

Toute La Monde said...

Back when I could eat dairy, I would make these all the time! They are great on salads. I would make them with Parmesan and throw them on a cesear salad (and of course, eat half of them while tossing the salad together!).

Peggy said...

Glad you get to spend some time with your mom! And these cheese crisps sound easy enough, definitely going to try them soon!

Amanda said...

I bet these are delicious! They sure do look great Erika!

Nancy said...

Happy 2011 Erika!! I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and joyous 2011! Congratulations to your Mom for doing something positive for her health. I am so glad that you will have some time off work and get to spend it with her - I really enjoying meeting her at the bake sale last year!!

Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

Delicious! I do these with Parmesan and use as a garnish for salads.

Monet said...

I'm so glad to hear that your mom is in town. What a great time of family, laughter and good food. I have a hard time cooking for people on a low carb diet too (as you can probably imagine) But these crisps look just delightful, and I'm sure they taste great. Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

Marly said...

Talk about a short list of ingredients! I wonder how this would be with vegan cheese. I may have to try it one of these days. Thanks for another great post!

Ellen Harris-Braun said...

At our house we use Monterey Jack and I have been known to make a tortilla/fried cheese snack, thusly: shred MJ onto hot griddle; flip as soon as flippable; top with corn tortilla & press. Cook a bit more. Remove, fold, eat. Oops--forgot the paper-towel step...

Nick said...

Think I could do these with a gruyere, swiss, and roclette?

http://www.eatinginbed.com (Where food and dreams meat)

Erika said...

@Susie, Toute, Lana - I have also done them with shredded parmesan and love that version. What a great idea, making it into a basket shape and serving salad in it! Must take a lot of cheese though.

@Marly - report back on the vegan cheese. I wonder if it would melt well enough?

@Ellen - now that sounds like a good snack. I will have to try that tomorrow. Corn or flour tortillas?

@Nick - I think you can do it with just about any cheese!

Anonymous said...

question? this may sound silly but do you use any oil on the pan ? or just a medium hot pan ?

Erika Kerekes said...

@Anonymous - no oil necessary. The cheese lets off enough fat to keep the crisps from sticking to the pan. (But do use a nonstick pan.)

Lana S Horton said...

These sound amazing. I would, however, like to mention that there really isn't a 'bacon version' of Atkins. Atkins has a bad rep because people really don't have a clue as to what Phase I or probably any phase of Atkins really includes. We eat lots of good, healthy veggies. Just wanted you to know.

Erika Kerekes said...

@Lana - yes, of course, you're right. But I know a few people who dislike vegetables and therefore have interpreted Atkins as "all bacon all the time."

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