Tip of the Week: Parmesan Cheese Rinds as Secret Ingredient

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Have a food hangover? If you celebrated the American Thanksgiving this week, you might. Giving you a cooking break, here’s a tip of the week.

Save your Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese rinds! They serve as a secret ingredient in anything that is slow cooked such as:

  • Meat and/or bean chili
  • Risotto or rice
  • Braised meats or vegetables
  • Just about any type of soup
  • Broths

Simply include them in the liquid in whatever you’re making. Any remaining cheese will slowly melt away from the rind, infusing your dish with a subtle, undercurrent of complex (“I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this is really good!”) flavor. Be sure to remove whatever rind is left before serving and discard.

Do other cheese rinds work? If it’s a hard, dry, granular cheese without wax, plastic or other non-food coatings, yes, they should work fine. If you’re unsure, don’t use it. Just stick with the classic, real Parmigiano-Reggiano. I save Parmesan rinds throughout the year in a thick plastic bag in my freezer and just pluck one out whenever I need one. I feel a game day chili coming on…

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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