Chicharron de Queso
Makes 8, serving 4 to 8 as a snack
Recipe from Season 7 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time
8 ounces finely shredded cheese (Monterey Jack works well)
Set a medium non-stick skillet (or a well-seasoned cast iron one) over medium-high heat. When hot, remove from the heat and sprinkle an even, light, slightly lacy-looking coating of cheese over the bottom of the pan. (Getting the exact quantity that’s right for your pan takes a little practice—my 10-inch All-Clad non-stick pan needs about 1/4 cup of finely-shredded cheese to cover the pan appropriately.) When the cheese has fully melted swirl the skillet to coat the bottom completely. As the cheese browns, the oil will have separated and the cheese will have adhered to the pan’s surface. Tip off the excess oil into a heatproof bowl. As the cheese turns an even deep golden (not all the white will have disappeared), use a small spatula or table knife to loosen the “chicharron” from the pan. Lift it up as you would a crepe and very carefully roll it into a big hollow 2-inch cylinder (or drape it over the side of a 2-inch diameter bottle). It will cool immediately and become crisp.
Continue making chicharrones de queso until all the cheese is used. Storing them in a closed container away from humidity.