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Parmigano Reggiano rinds

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I'm getting a small collection of these and don't know how to use up the last bits of their goodness. Any ideas?

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  1. I throw my rinds into soups, especially tomato based ones, which gives them a wonderful earthy and slight cheesy flavor. I particularly enjoy the flavor in pasta e fagioli soup. Also, when I roast a chicken in the oven, I will often put some rinds in the cavity with lemons and fresh thyme.

    I have heard of including them in risottos as well, pulling the rind before serving, but have not actually done this myself.

    4 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      Ditto, especially minestrone.

      1. re: somervilleoldtimer

        Add another rind saver for minestrone.

      2. re: smtucker

        I add it to my risottos, but dont fish them out. It is a magical melty cheesey suprise. I purposely dish servings out so I always get the rind.

        1. re: smtucker

          Also good in French Onion soup.

        2. They are great to make a fast and dirty soup with plain broth. I'll either dethaw or pour from box, add a rind bay leaf and dried chili. Toss in tortellini and it's dinner. Store in freezer for soup season.

          1. Use in soup - add it early on: much of it will melt, fish out what's left. Ditto for making tomato sauce.

            1. I love to add it to risotto stocks at the beginning; it's a good way to enrich the cheesy goodness of the dish. As the rind melts and becomes more pliable, it becomes easier to get every last bit of cheese in there.

              1. Not sure if this applies to you, but I used to give them frozen to my son when he was teething. Weird, yes, but it totally worked. Just make sure you keep a close eye and don't let him gnaw too long or it will thaw out.

                1. Thanks for all the help! I'll keep them in the freezer until soup season.

                  No kids, but if my teeth fall out, I'll keep a couple around to gum on!

                  1. The best way? Stick it on a fork or spit and roast it on a flame ( even on the gas stove) much like you do with marshmellows, a bit burned on the fringes.You have the added bonus of the aroma as well as a great, chewey taste.
                    As children that was a special treat for us.
                    Make sure your rind is about 1/2 inch thick and clean it well on the outside. Washing is not enough as you need to scrape the outside layer and take away the muck accumulated in the little holes of the markings.
                    Better done while waiting for the meal to be on the table...

                    1. I think it might just be me, but I found that the rind changed the whole flavor of my minestroni and vegetable soups. Cheese is good on the top and nice to mix in but the rind is super salty, and if you do use it, taste the soup and pull it out if begins to get that way.
                      After a couple more soups Italian beef and barley for instance. I stopped. I don't care for the taste at all it overwhelms the soups each time and they all start to taste the same. I much prefer the flavor of the tomatoes, and the vegetables.

                      1. Into the stock bag with the vegetable peelings in the freezer.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                          Chicken stock, vegetable stock? I would have assumed that the rinds would overtake the flavor of a stock and make it cloudy. Please tell us more.

                          1. re: smtucker

                            Chicken or beef stock usually. I suppose you could add enough that it would be too powerful, but I don't usually have that much cheese rind in the mix, given the amount of hard cheese that I use (I also put other appropriate rinds in there) and the amount of stock that I make in a typical batch (12-18 quarts before straining and reducing).

                            I clarify stock with egg whites at the end, so cloudiness isn't an issue (though veal stock tends not to clarify as well in general as beef or chicken).

                        2. I throw them in when I make marinara sauce. Gives it a great flavor.

                          1. Shred them (large shred). Heat a small non-stick pan, like an omelet pan, to about pancake heat. Add a handful of grated rinds to the pan and allow to melt, pressing down with a fork to spread the cheese and close holes. Allow to brown on the bottom and then lift to a rack to cool. Don't flip them in the pan, just brown on one side. Serve with soups, salads, or munch as snacks.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: morwen

                              Your fricos aren't too salty by using the rinds? I use the actual cheese to make fricos.

                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                They're a little salty but nothing like most commercial versions or snacks.

                            2. Like many others, I add them to tomato sauce and some soups while it's simmering. However, the ratios of rinds to sauce or stock are generally small. In a 20 qt pot I might add only 8 or so oz of rinds when I have them.

                              1. they can be added to cooking beans and lentils too.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  You beat me to it with regard to the beans and lentils, especially Italian style...just make sure you cook beans, add cheese, allow to blend/absorb flavours and then salt. It is amazing how much salt those rinds can retain and deliver.