Grana Padano Tuiles
Alex Mackay, cook, teacher, writer and food lover serves up the perfect non-stop nibbles for your festive celebrations to sparkle.
I first came across Tuiles like these when I did a stage with the wonderful 3 Michelin Starred chef Nadia Santini at Dal Pescatore in 1993. Chef Santini's mother would make them to order in a frying pan. Such a simple idea, but so incredibly clever, crisp, irrestistible, a delicious memory in seconds, but what a memory. I took the idea back to Le Manoir and Mr Blanc started serving them with a wild mushroom risotto. You need to prepare your Grana Padano by blending it to fine crumbs in a food processor rather than grating it.
Makes 24 Tuiles to serve; Preparation time: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 10-15 minutes; Difficulty: Easy
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/Rack position upper middle shelf.
2. Put a 6cm pastry cutter onto your very flat non-stick tray/baco-glide to use as a guide. Sprikle a heaped tablespoon of Grana Padano into the cutter. Flatten the Grana Padano into a circle, remove the cutter then repeat at even intervals, giving enough space for the Grana Padano to melt. If you're doing this for the first time, I'd do batches of 5 or 6 so that you can get the hang of shaping them without putting yourself under too much pressure.
3. Bake these in the pre-heated oven for 6-8 minutes (this varies a little according to the Grana Padano. More age = less moisture) until they are lightly browned and look dry, if they are moist, they will not harden. While the tuiles bake, get a palette knife and a rolling pin ready on your worktop to shape the tuiles over.
4. Take the tuiles out of the oven and let them cool and harden very slightly for 5-10 seconds. Lift the tuiles off the tray with your palette knife and shape them over the rolling pin. Leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until you need them. They are delicate and irresistible, so try not to break or eat them before your guests arrive.