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Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli and a birthday wish


Chef/Restauranteur and longtime friend, Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s Restaurant, was the guest teacher at Les Gourmettes on Monday and Tuesday nights. His menu was inspired, fun, and delicious. The first course was Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli.

frico round

Frico, is an Italian savory food, typical of Friuli, in the northeastern tip of Italy, which consists of a thin crisp wafer of shredded cheese, baked or fried until crisp. The customary cheeses used include Montasio, Parmesan or mozzarella. Mark used Montasio cheese, but Parmesan is easier to find and works just as well.

I’ve sung the praises of smoked paprika or pimentón many times here before. I don’t know why I didn’t think of making a pimentón mayonnaise – brilliant!

frico with smoked paprika aioli

Frico with Smoked Paprika Aioli

Grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Mark Tarbell grating the cheese

Frico: Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the pan, just to cover.

frico cooking

Reduce the heat to low and cook, without stirring or disturbing, until the underside is rich brown.

browning the frico

Use a heat-resistant rubber spatula to gently turn over the frico and brown on the other side. Remove with a spatula and place on paper towels to drain. The frico will become crisp as it cools.

Repeat to make as many as you’d like. Use within a day, otherwise they will lose their crispness as they absorb moisture from the air.

cracking egg for mayo

Aioli: Place the egg yolk in a food processor or blender.

Mark Tarbell making aioli

Wish the machine running, very slowly  add the olive oil in very thin stream through the feed tube. Once the oil is emulsified, add the paprika and lemon juice, then add salt to taste.

Makes about 1 cup

frico with smoked paprika mayo

To Serve: Dollop the aioli in the center of a small plate. Break off a couple of large pieces of the frico and stand them up in the aioli. Serve immediately.

Peggy Sue!

Happy Birthday, Peggy! Love you to pieces! xoxo


If you weren’t a follower of this blog around this time last year, you might be interested in checking out the 50th birthday party I threw in Peggy’s honor. If so, click HERE, HERE, HERE and/or HERE.

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1 Marissa { 02.26.14 at 7:41 AM }

Great picture of birthday girl Peggy!

2 Peggy { 02.26.14 at 10:33 AM }

Awwww. Thanks Linda. Thanks Marissa. Love you two, too!!

(BTW, this recipe sounds yummmmmy!)

3 Tram Mai { 02.26.14 at 12:20 PM }

Happy birthday Peggy!! 🙂

4 Lori V { 02.26.14 at 9:05 PM }

I second that- amazing picture! Happy Birthday Peggy!

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