Sunday, 4 January 2015

Frico di Formaggio con Patate e Cipolla - Cheesy Frico with Potato and Onion

Frico di Formaggio con Patate e Cipolla - Cheesy Frico with Potato and Onion

Anyone who knows me really well knows of my love for cheese. Be it Cheddar (any kind), Gouda, Camembert, Blue Cheese or, my all time favorite, Brie, I love them all. Yes, I could go on with more names but, by now, I know you get my drift ;) If it’s a cheese I’ve never tried before, I’ll readily try it and more often than not, fall in love with it. The two varieties of cheese I used for this dish were new to me. I tried bits of both cheese at the gourmet shop, and of course, I was hooked! I liked them so much I requested the girl at the cheese counter for a wee bit more to nibble on. She was very confident of a sale hence sweetly obliged. She packed my order of cheese, while I nibbled away. (Gluttonous ol’ me! :D )

This dish is typical of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the north-eastern region of Italy. It’s simple, very rustic and as the Italian say, ‘mangià e murì’, which translates literally as, ‘to eat and die’. Truly, a dish to die for! I served this for brunch but you may serve it as a side with a main meal. The cheese used for this dish is Montasio or ‘Grand Padano’, also known as the ‘king of cheese’. Sometimes a combination of Montasio and Grand Padano is also used. A combination of both, Montasio and Grand Padano, is what I used. The final result that got served is truly not something I cannot describe in words. You have to make this to experience it for yourself. Sigh!!!


1 onion, sliced
½ cup scallions, sliced
¼ kilo potatoes (approx: 2 large ones)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
175 grams Montasio cheese
175 grams Grand Padano cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked.
  2. Peel and mash them. Keep aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add onions and scallions.

  4. Fry till they are translucent and the edges are just about to turn light brown.

  5.  Add the mashed potatoes, Montasio and Grand Padano.

  6. Sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Cook the mixture on high flame, stirring often, till the cheese melts and is thoroughly incorporated into the potatoes.

  8. Check seasoning and add salt as needed.
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low, flatten the potato-onion-cheese mixture like a flat semi-thick pancake and allow it to crust up to a golden brown from the bottom. Do not stir or touch it when the ‘crusting’ is in process.

  10. When the bottom part of the Frico is nicely crusted and evenly golden brown, remove the pan from the flame, and gently slide the Frico into the plate. 
  11. If there is excess oil in the non-stick pan, dab it with a kitchen towel. Invert the non-stick pan over the Frico on the plate and gently invert the Frico back into the pan. On low heat allow the Frico to crust up on the other side.

  12. When the other side crusts up, slide the Frico on a plate. Dab the excess oil from the cheese with a paper towel.
  13. Slice into wedges, as you would for a pizza.

  14. Serve immediate with fried eggs and sausages. And for crazy cheese lovers like me, with more cheese. There can never be enough cheese. ;-)

Chef Notes: 

  1. The basic recipe for authentic Frico uses Montasio and Grand Padano but if these variety of cheese are not available, please don’t let that stop you from trying this awesome recipe. Feel free to substitute it with other varieties of semi-hard cheese (stringy variety). The Italians would probably slaughter me for advising this but cooking is all about making adjustments and using tweaks that work, so go right ahead and tweak if you’re confident it will work.
  2. Feel free to give the plate method a miss if you are confident you can flip the Frico to crust up the other side without breaking it. The plate method is just to ensure that you don’t break the Frico while turning it as it is quite dense because of the potatoes and cheese.
  3. To give the Frico a twist, chop cold cuts of your choice into tiny pieces, crisp them up and add them to the potato mixture. Alternately, you may use sautéed shrimps or tiny pieces of roast chicken. Feel free to go with whatever floats your boat to bring you and your loved ones to the shores of gastronomic pleasure. :-)
  4. Please serve the Frico as soon as it's ready. It tends to get rubbery when it goes cold.
  5. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.


  1. Yum, yum! This would be so delicious! Hoping to try it out some day

    1. Hi Khushnaz! Thank you ever so much. It truly pleases me to know you liked the recipe. Please do give it a try as and when you can and do let me know how it turns out. I'd love to hear feedback from you. :-)