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

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...

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  1. sounds like parmesan soup time to me!

    1. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                I had visions reading this. Sounds super deelish.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  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

                  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

                    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

                      also, Parmesan is never vegetarian.

                      1. re: Peg

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

                      2. re: chicgail

                        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


                    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

                      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.

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

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

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: Moimoi

                            But not on a granite countertop!!!!

                            1. re: Moimoi

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

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

                                1. re: bgbc

                                  that sounds delicious! thanks for the idea!

                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          Based on experience, I agree with this.

                                2. 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

                                  1. Steep it in cream and make a custard of it.

                                    Frozen, pot de creme, whatever.

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

                                      1. 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. 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

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

                                          2. 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...