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Any ideas for a big piece of petrified parmesan/Parmigiano-Reggiano?

Moimoi Dec 20, 2011 08:33 PM

I found a large piece of very good parmesan petrified in my fridge (wrapper ripped and dried it out)... It almost brings tears to my eyes to think about throwing it out, but it's too hard to grate.

Any suggestions on what I can do (cook) with this rock-hard piece of cheese? I've heard about the rind thing for soup, but was hoping for another idea, unless the soup experts out there can sway me. Thanks...

  1. mattstolz Dec 20, 2011 08:35 PM

    sounds like parmesan soup time to me!

    1. l
      Lady_Tenar Dec 20, 2011 08:52 PM

      I agree--that sounds like a major boon for your next soup. Trust me, you won't be shedding tears when you eat a good, parm rind-flavored soup.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Lady_Tenar
        Moimoi Dec 20, 2011 08:59 PM

        Maybe I'm confused... When I think rind, I think the hard, outer layer. I can't even grate this cheese - it's that hard. This is a big block piece... Would I just throw the whole block into the soup?

        1. re: Moimoi
          e
          escondido123 Dec 20, 2011 09:17 PM

          If you can chop it into chunks, wonderful, if not yes just put it into a pot of water and simmer it. I believe it will begin to soften and then dissolve until you have Parmigianno stock. Then freeze that into cubes and use for all sorts of dishes--wonderful for risotto and pasta sauces.

          1. re: escondido123
            h
            hetook Dec 20, 2011 09:25 PM

            or maybe an experimental braise?

            no wait !

            ask ipsedixit for his Hot Dog Water ...you could make

            good ole petrified parm/regg consomme. yeah

            re.escon ment to push Reply t orig post...sorry.

            1. re: escondido123
              biondanonima Dec 21, 2011 08:54 AM

              I had some petrified parmesan pieces in the fridge recently and I added them to a braised short rib dish with red wine. They added a deep rich backbone of flavor, and as a bonus, they softened up enough to eat once the braise was done - they were a bit rubbery, but DELICIOUS, with all the flavors of the cheese and braise mingled. Divine!

              1. re: biondanonima
                Moimoi Dec 21, 2011 05:49 PM

                I had visions reading this. Sounds super deelish.

                1. re: biondanonima
                  l
                  Lady_Tenar Dec 22, 2011 08:50 PM

                  Oh yeah, I love eating the cheese rind out of the soup, stew, or sauce when it's done cooking. Yum! Another perk.

                2. re: escondido123
                  LaureltQ Dec 22, 2011 10:19 AM

                  I have some rind that I'd like to make into stock for risotto. My mother doesn't eat meat, would this be a suitable replacement for chicken/veggie stock or would i also need to use stock as additional cooking liquid?

                  1. re: LaureltQ
                    chicgail Dec 22, 2011 10:20 AM

                    If your mom doesn't eat meat, use a nice veggie stock. The parma rind will deep the flavor, but not be sufficient on its own.

                    1. re: chicgail
                      Peg Dec 22, 2011 11:12 AM

                      also, Parmesan is never vegetarian.

                      1. re: Peg
                        e
                        escondido123 Dec 22, 2011 11:19 AM

                        It is interesting that many vegetarians overlook--or maybe don't know--that rennet is used in most cheeses.

                      2. re: chicgail
                        LaureltQ Dec 22, 2011 11:39 AM

                        Thanks! I was hoping to have a delicate enough flavor for lemon to shine, but with veggie stock, I don't see that happening. Adding cheese will make this a little more flavorful though!

                  2. re: Moimoi
                    chicgail Dec 21, 2011 09:02 AM

                    Yep.

                    First of all, sorry about the loss of your big piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

                    Secondly, since you're not making Parmesan soup, but rather deepening the flavor of whatever other soup you're making, it's a perfect add.

                    If you're tempted to throw it out, please just send it over here. I'll use it.

                    1. re: Moimoi
                      l
                      Lady_Tenar Dec 22, 2011 08:48 PM

                      Or, chop it into chunks and store them in a container in the freezer. Then use them to flavor soups as needed. I always use a cheese rind in my minestrone, white bean and kale soup, sometimes even French onion. Homemade tomato sauce, too. The possibilities are endless.

                  3. ipsedixit Dec 20, 2011 09:09 PM

                    Paperweight?

                    1. d
                      douglasdaly Dec 20, 2011 09:21 PM

                      In Italy they use old Parmiggiano or the rind to make stock for soup

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: douglasdaly
                        southernitalian Dec 22, 2011 10:03 AM

                        Yup. I always save them for minestrone.

                      2. Cheese Boy Dec 21, 2011 01:08 AM

                        Wrap the block in an old dish towel and take a hammer to it so you have manageable pieces.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Cheese Boy
                          Moimoi Dec 21, 2011 05:41 PM

                          Brilliant!!

                          1. re: Moimoi
                            e
                            escondido123 Dec 21, 2011 05:48 PM

                            But not on a granite countertop!!!!

                            1. re: Moimoi
                              mattstolz Dec 21, 2011 06:19 PM

                              haha what else would you expect with a name like cheese boy?

                            2. re: Cheese Boy
                              r
                              rosemarie365 Dec 22, 2011 09:41 AM

                              My suggestion also.

                            3. arashall Dec 21, 2011 09:14 AM

                              Similar to soup, you could throw it in risotto, too.

                              1. b
                                bgbc Dec 21, 2011 06:26 PM

                                I've always wanted to make this risotto: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: bgbc
                                  mattstolz Dec 21, 2011 07:36 PM

                                  that sounds delicious! thanks for the idea!

                                  1. re: mattstolz
                                    b
                                    bgbc Dec 21, 2011 07:53 PM

                                    Act soon! I saved my parmesan heels for so long they became, uh, kind of rancid and I had to toss them. So sad.

                                    1. re: bgbc
                                      Moimoi Dec 21, 2011 08:02 PM

                                      Thanks for the tip.... I suppose you're right... it's not going to last forever... I'll act before New Year's Eve... or maybe even New Year's Eve...

                                      1. re: Moimoi
                                        biondanonima Dec 22, 2011 09:14 AM

                                        They will last almost indefinitely in the freezer. And I say almost because I haven't gone more than a couple of years, but the heels I've used at the two year mark are absolutely fine.

                                        1. re: biondanonima
                                          r
                                          rosemarie365 Dec 22, 2011 09:42 AM

                                          Based on experience, I agree with this.

                                2. rworange Dec 21, 2011 08:41 PM

                                  Don't know if any of this stuff on the web works

                                  - put in microwave with a small open bowl of milkfor 60 seconds
                                  - wrap in a wet paper towel or cheesecloth. Place in an airtight plastic bag in the veggie crisper for 24 hours
                                  - Put a small piece of vinegar soaked sponge with cheese in a plastic bag, squeeze out air and put in fridge 2 days.
                                  - put cheese in a plastic container, add a few drops of whiskey and refrigerate for a while.

                                  Gratuitous Parmigiano-Reggiano link that doesn't solve your problem. I just liked it. The Zen of Parmesan
                                  http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/my...

                                  1. j
                                    J.Dish Dec 22, 2011 12:23 AM

                                    Steep it in cream and make a custard of it.

                                    Frozen, pot de creme, whatever.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: J.Dish
                                      h
                                      hetook Dec 22, 2011 09:33 AM

                                      nice

                                    2. h
                                      hetook Dec 22, 2011 09:47 AM

                                      U could try aging it further in decorative bottles with some extra v. olive oil or vinegar?

                                      1. greygarious Dec 22, 2011 09:59 AM

                                        Definitely add it to soup, but in modest amounts, like no more than an egg-sized chunk to a gallon of liquid. You will need to stir the bottom of the pot thoroughly every now and then, because the cheese will melt (even a rind will melt) and you don't want it to scorch on the bottom of the pot. Wrap remaining chunks tightly in foil or plastic wrap, then in a freezer bag to keep them in the freezer for many months if not indefinitely.

                                        1. h
                                          hetook Dec 22, 2011 11:01 AM

                                          I wouldn't hesitate to sous vide it for a couple days to revive the parm. It might come back?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: hetook
                                            Moimoi Dec 22, 2011 07:36 PM

                                            I love all of these suggestions - so clever (almost scientific)... and inventive! :)

                                          2. rcallner Dec 23, 2011 10:32 AM

                                            Do you own a good microplane grater? I've been pleasantly surprised with how effective mine can be on petrified cheese. Mind your fingers..... http://us.microplane.com/microplanecl...

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